NPF accuses PDA of mishandling COVID situation

DIMAPUR, MAY 14 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/14/2020 12:40:32 PM IST

State’s principal opposition party NPF has accused the NDPP-led PDA government of being unable to come up with a concrete roadmap in managing COVID-19 pandemic even after the lapse of 50 days of the nationwide lockdown and mishandling the situation. Instead, the opposition party alleged that the ruling coalition was indulging in mischief and cited imposition of COVID-19 cess on petroleum products as a prime example, which it termed as a daylight robbery because major chunk of the burden would be borne by the have-nots, not those well off. In a press communiqué, NPF further accused chief minister Neiphiu Rio of taking Naga people for a ride. 

Referring to the meeting with civil society organisations (CSOs) here on Wednesday, the party regretted that instead of delving into issues pertaining to the pandemic, Rio focused on matters that had no relevance to the current situation like the State’s budgetary deficit. He perhaps confused the meeting with CSOs with budget session of Nagaland Legislative Assembly, the party added.

The communiqué stated that he must have brought the deficit issue at the meeting also due to his guilty conscience as he had started his tenure as chief minister in 2003 with zero deficit after the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government magnanimously gave a one-time grant to wipe out the State’s deficit. Now for him to blame the DAN-III government for the huge deficit that he had incurred during his 11 years tenure at the helm made for a good comedy show, it added wryly.

NPF asked Rio why he did not made a factual statement based on finance department records, if he really wanted the people to know the budgetary figures and made comparisons. Instead of making false and unverified claims just to portray his good image, the party dared him to be bold enough to present factual information to the people. 

The opposition party further questioned Rio why he did not share the 2019-2020 closing deficit figure of Rs 2,234.85 crore, in which Rs 500-plus crore was added during his two-year tenure as chief minister since March 2018. And if he was still in a state of denial due to his limited knowledge on how the State’s deficit continued to soar during his reign, the party asked him to take the advice of the finance department and go through records, rather than coming up with false statements time and again.

NPF also wondered why the chief minister had to rake up the issues of delimitation and Naga political issue at the meeting with the CSOs. Observing that there had been no significant breakthrough in the Naga peace process in the past two years, the opposition party alleged that at a time when Government of India and Naga groups were hoping to seal a final deal, the only thing he had being doing was rushing to meet Central government leaders to cement his position post a final agreement.

According to the opposition party, from issues of bringing back stranded Nagas to setting up proper quarantine centres, Rio had terribly failed in every aspect, which reflected his poor leadership.


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