CM’s I-Day speech misleading: NPF

Correspondent KOHIMA, AUG 27 (NPN) | Publish Date: 8/27/2018 12:09:32 PM IST

Naga People’s Front (NPF) spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon termed the Independence Day speech delivered on August 15 by chief minister Neiphiu Rio as misleading.

Addressing media persons at NPF central office here on Monday evening, Kikon said PDA’s promise to work for people, maintain transparency and accountability were yet to materialise.

Kikon said though the government had initiated steps to end VIP culture, yet many appointments were allegedly made, pointing out that such acts had proved that the announcement was just a fluke. 

He said during the 178 days of its governance, the PDA had promised to repair road, maintain transparency and accountability, but alleged that nothing was seen on the ground.

Instead, what had been seen during the past five and half months were a series of agitations by various associations and students demanding scholarships and teachers for salary, he added.  

On “improvement” of law and order situation as mentioned in the Independence Day speech, Kikon cited instances of the recent kidnapping of labourers working in the four-lane road construction and said when people were not feeling safe even between Kohima and Dimapur, what could one expect in remote areas.

On urban local bodies, Kikon said NPF-led DAN government had tried to conduct election after a series of consultations with tribal bodies and following a directive of the court to implement 33% women’s reservation.

However, he said politics creeped in and the poll was called off. He stressed, if ULB election had to be conducted, there should be proper consensus within tribal hohos and that NPF too should be taken into confidence.

On release of VDB grant-in-aid, Kikon said the PDA government should not claim to have released the fund as it was actually brought by NPF-led DAN government under the leadership of then chief minister TR Zeliang.

He said after Zeliang made special request to NITI Aayog for special grant, the latter had provided Rs 185.09 crore on November 8, 2017.

The NPF spokesperson claimed that while arranging to distribute 60 tractors for 60 Assembly constituencies along with the VDB grant, Election Commission of India announced the Assembly election and enforced model code of conduct, due to which the fund could not be released.

He said the PDA government’s claim to have released the amount right after taking over the reins of governance was absolutely misleading, adding that credit must go to Zeliang.

Referring to the Kerala floods that claimed several lives, Kikon said NPF appreciated the gesture of the Nagaland government in providing aid, but added the party was more concerned about the people affected in Nagaland by recent landslides at several places.

He said, as per reports, essential commodities were running short in Kiphire district and other interior parts of the State.

The State government was duty bound to ensure that all roads were restored immediately and immediate action taken so that essential commodities reached the people without delay.

Takes on BJP over immersion issue

On the controversy over immersion of former Prime Minister, late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ashes, Kikon asserted that Nagas had every reason to be provoked.

In an apparent reference to state BJP president, Kikon said it was unfortunate that the BJP leader without realizing the repercussions, planned to hold the immersion ceremony of the great Indian leader.

Without realizing the sensitivity of the Naga culture, tradition and Christian belief, Kikon lamented that BJP has rather created image of the Nagas as an intolerant society by wanting to immerse the ashes.

Kikon acknowledged that the former PM was a renowned and highly respectable person and deserved the highest respect. 

He said NPF had cordial relationship with Vajpayee, who had provided special grants to Nagaland to waive off the deficits, besides recognising Naga political issue as unique. Nagas owe him, he added.

However, Kikon said the way the state BJP leaders were handling the issue was unfortunate, and reminded that Nagas were emotional thereby sentiments should not be hurt.

He said BJP should not have anything to do with religion and asked the leaders to maintain the same and not involve with religion. If BJP continues to deviate from functioning as a political party, it would not go down well, he said.

Kikon maintained that Nagas respect all religion in the state and even participate in event like Durga Puja. However, such practices like how the BJP leader did should be carefully analyzed, he said.

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