Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Nagaland: NDPP has betrayed strong regional spirit of Naga people, says RPP

Rising People’s Party (RPP) has accused Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) of betraying the strong regional spirit of Naga people, the same people who had elected Neiphiu Rio as the chief minister on four consecutive occasions.
In a statement, RPP president Joel Naga and vice-president Vitho Zao said the current chief minister had championed himself since 2003 as a regional strongman who managed to keep Delhi at bay. Keeping aside the allegations of corruption and personal enrichment, they mentioned that credit should be given to him for keeping the Naga identity flag flying high and for which RPP acknowledged his leadership. But today, they feared that “fortress” Nagaland was in danger, thanks to the merger pact.
In this regard, RPP has appealed to the rank and file of NDPP to leave the party following media reports that the latter could merge with BJP post 2023 State Assembly election.
Quoting a July 23 Delhi-based report that “In 2023, after election, NDPP may merge with the BJP”, provided the alliance managed to come to power, RPP pointed out that NDPP had not refuted the news.
If this information was correct, they said chief minister Neiphiu Rio, 41 NDPP MLAs and all rank and file of NDPP were now basically karyakartas of BJP.
From championing regionalism/Naga identity to embracing a national party was called opportunistic politics, and when the party was none other than NDPP, it was nothing less than plain treachery, they added.
They said the post 2023 Assembly election merger of NDPP with BJP presented a clear and present danger to Nagaland, stressing that the State required a strong regional party to protect the interest of Nagaland. But with NPF rendered crippled and NDPP soon to be extinct, they observed that Nagas were entering an era of fear and confusion.
During this period of leadership crisis and utter confusion, they assured that RPP, though young, was ready to rise to the occasion and stand, guard and protect “our” people where others had failed. They stated that this leadership crisis was perhaps no different from 1998-2003 when the then opposition-less Congress government had failed to read the pulse of Naga people and was completely humiliated in the 2003 Assembly elections.
The duo reiterated that RPP was for Naga solution. However, if there was no solution and election was held as scheduled next year, they said the “soon-to-be-extinct” NDPP should not be allowed to take Nagas for a ride.
To keep they regional identity alive, they emphasised that it was time for patriotic Nagas and intellectuals to rise from their sleep and stop the traitors from winning elections. They appealed to the rank and files of NDPP to leave the party without delay.