PDA in power drunk stupor: NPF

DIMAPUR, NOV 20 (NPN) | Publish Date: 11/20/2020 11:48:28 AM IST

War of words has once again ensued between the ruling NDPP and opposition NPF over the recent hike in tax on petroleum products announced by the PDA government.

Following the ruling party’s castigation of the opposition party over its criticism of the move, the latter has hit back.  NPF in a statement alleged that the NDPP labelling the increased cost of petrol and diesel as “non issues” exposed the “deplorable fact” that the majority party in the ruling coalition was in a power drunk stupor and had lost touch with reality not just in Nagaland but with the entire modern world whose geopolitics was largely driven by considerations of availability, supply and reserves of petroleum fuel. 

Mentioning that it was mystified at NDPP deeming the spike in tax on petrol and diesel as “non issues”, NPF said it was bemused at the “laboured justification” that the ruling party conjured up to welcome the increase of tax on petrol, diesel and other lubricants.

Acknowledging the efforts of finance department in publishing retail prices of petrol and diesel in some neighbouring States, the opposition party urged the department that to understand ground situation in proper perspective it should also equally highlight the retail cost of fuel in other North-eastern States like Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura where this was lower than Nagaland, and not just those States where retail cost was higher or very close to Nagaland.

NPF further urged the PDA government to instruct its agencies to do a comprehensive comparative study on the cost of essential commodities and other essentials like building materials in Nagaland with the neighbouring States and publish it for public awareness. Sincere effort should then be made to ensure price-control so that the financial burden on the public was eased, it stressed.

The opposition party said it was painful to observe that while the people are struggling for their day-to-day needs due to COVID-19 pandemic and prices of essential commodities are skyrocketing every passing day, they now have to bear the brunt of this imperious decision. It, therefore, reiterated its demand to roll back the government’s decision to hike the tax on petrol and diesel at the earliest.

Pointing out that in a democracy, both the ruling and opposition parties have assigned roles to play and that the former should focus on providing good governance to the people and desist from issuing superfluous press statements, NPF observed that NDPP’s attempt to dredge up extraneous and irrelevant issues might be interpreted as an effort to divert the burning issue at hand and does not warrant further comment. 

“If NDPP cannot take the positive criticism of the opposition party for the welfare of the general public, do the people consider the recent hike on petroleum products as Christmas gift?” the opposition party wanted to know. Observing that the NDPP’s statement quite perplexingly keeps mentioning and defending chief minister Neiphiu Rio time and again, NPF clarified that in its statement released on November 13 it had only demanded that the PDA government should roll back the decision to hike tax on petrol and diesel without even once alluding to the chief minister in person.


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