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No regret for parting ways with BJP, says NPF president

DIMAPUR, MAY 19 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/19/2019 12:07:39 PM IST

Naga People’s Front (NPF) president Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu Sunday said his party had no regrets on parting ways with BJP as the latter changed its colour and walked away in search of greener pastures.

Saying he was constrained in responding to the NDPP’s allegation that NPF was playing a “double game”, Dr. Shürho asked the rival party to take note of his party’s stand. 

He admitted that NPF had alliance with BJP for many years which began in 2003 when BJP was in the opposition at the Centre. 

He said in 2003 BJP had eight MLAs after the Assembly election but in 2008 it won only two seats that included the present deputy chief minister Y Patton. He said both BJP legislators then merged with NPF leaving the party without any MLA in the Assembly for some time. 

In 2013 election, only one BJP MLA managed to win, he added. 

He reminded that when BJP stormed to power in New Delhi in 2014, NPF was happy since one of its alliance partners took over the rein of power at the Centre. However, Dr. Shürhozelie alleged that BJP changed its colour completely and began trying to dictate upon NPF. 

He reiterated that NPF could not yield to their demands as the party represented the identity of Naga people as the party has its own principles to defend and protect the interest of our people. 

He opined that after realising this, the BJP walked away from the alliance in search of “greener pasture” and wished the best to BJP with its new partners and in its de facto government. 

On NPF’s part he said the party has no regrets whatsoever since it was of the same people with the same policies and programmes, whether it is with A or B or alone. 

On NDPP questioning NPF about its support to the BJP-led government in Manipur, Dr. Shürhozelie admitted that its four legislators continued to extend support even after NPF parted ways with BJP in Nagaland. 

Dr. Shürhozelie reiterated that every Naga leader, including NDPP leaders, were aware of the Naga political problem as all of them talked of peace, unity, settlement of the Naga political problem. 

Therefore, he opined that if there was any real concern for a political solution to the long-standing political problem, debating about the issue among different political parties would not solve the problem since it should not be brought into agenda of petty politics. 

He reiterated that the issue was beyond power and NPF was only playing the role of mediator. Under such a scenario, he said the party has to listen provided that it did not harm the other side. Dr. Shürhozelie maintained that the issue was sensitive and, therefore, it was better not to talk about it if one cannot fathom fully the ground reality of the protracted problem. 

He also reminded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to solve the Naga political problem within 18 months, while the Nagaland Governor promised to solve the problem in six months’ time and that the ruling PDA government had told people that talks were going in the right direction. If so, he said NPF wanted to know how these promises would be delivered to the people in the next few days. 

Dr. Shürhozelie said the matter is the same whether NPF withdrew support today or after the election results were completed.

Referring to NDPP’s reference to his contesting 1999 election as an independent candidate, Dr. Shürhozelie clarified that after the Naga Hoho gave a boycott call to all parties for “solution and not election” in 1988, for him and other leaders, who placed political solution as priority, they chose not contest by risking their political careers. 

He pointed out that even many current NDPP leaders were in Congress at that time, including present chief minister Neiphiu Rio, who he described as a strong Congress leader. 

He said as a consequence, the Election Commission of India had decided to withdraw NPF registration and froze its cock symbol for non-participation in the elections.

Under such a situation, Dr. Shürhozelie clarified that he had to contest the election as an independent not to win but to regain then NPC(now NPF) party’s registration and its symbol cock in which he won in both. Dr. Shürhozelie said he chose not to claim any credit but that it was an undeniable fact. 

He accused NDPP of unwarranted attack against NPF by branding it as a party of liars and visionless leaders etc. 

He however, cautioned NDPP that use of such “abusive and nasty vocabularies” will not help improve the performance of the PDA government in any way. He said condemning the political opponent every day can never be an achievement for a welfare government.  Dr. Shürhozelie challenged NDPP leaders to a public debate for calling him a liar and president on bail but there has been no response. Dr. Shürhozelie reaffirmed that he is an orthodox Baptist Christian and had time and again declared that he would go to any extent to defend his Christian faith.

He reiterated that he was born free and would continue to worship freely and without fear in as much as Nagaland wad giving freedom to all other religions to worship freely as enshrined in the Constitution of India. 

Dr. Shürhozelie said NDPP filed case against him because he had appealed to the people to vote for their faith and that the case is still lying in the court. He dared the government to come and arrest him if it considered that he was wrong in saying so.

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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