Members of tribal hohos at the August 18 consultative meeting in Kohima.

While the Nagaland Pradesh Committee (NPCC) has dubbed the Nagaland government’s August 18 consultative meeting with tribal hohos (bodies) of the state as a sham, the newly formed Rising People’s Party (RPP) said it was all about funds.

“The August 18 consultative meeting was another sham exercise where the state government led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had conveniently outsourced policy-making decisions and governance issues to 14 tribal hohos of Nagaland,” the NPCC said in a release.

It said with the NPF joining the government bandwagon to form Nagaland United Government (NUG) under the pretext of Naga political solution, the intensity of political gimmicks will increase while common people continue to suffer without any end in sight.

The Pradesh Congress said what transpired in the consultative meeting and going by the speeches of the chief minister and others as reported in the media, law-making in Nagaland has shifted from Nagaland Legislative Assembly to the state banquet hall as all the 60 elected members have abdicated their responsibility to focus only on raiding the state exchequer.

The NPCC said it will not remain silent as the state government and its chosen cronies continue their indulgence in fooling people without any hesitation.

The RPP said the August 18 consultative meeting was never about women reservation per se but all about funds.

The one and only agenda of the August 18 meeting was the government’s insatiable desire to access the urban local body funds amounting to several hundred crores by holding the civic body elections at the earliest, possibly by January or February of 2022, funds which is being currently held up by the central government since 2008, the party stated.

“This fact cannot be denied because no woman representative was invited to the consultative meeting,” it added.

The RPP alleged that the ruling politicians want to create a “war chest” for the 2023 state Assembly elections by accessing the urban local body funds.

It added that the August 18 exercise was a fraud committed by the state government disguised as a discussion on women’s reservation and others for which the NUG should immediately rectify their deliberate mistake and apologize to the womenfolk of Nagaland and the 14 tribes.

Calling the NUG as the Nagaland Consultative Government, the RPP said there has been no dearth of formation of committees or commissions and holding of endless numbers of consultative meetings since the People’s Democratic Alliance/NUG came to power

It said the formation of the various committees and the consultative meetings are all delay tactics which continue to fool everyone.

“While none of the burning issues have been resolved, the state exchequer seems to be depleting at a fast pace,” the party added.

The state government held a consultative meeting with the tribal bodies to discuss various issues plaguing the state such as the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland, women reservation in urban local bodies, Dimapur-Peren boundary issue and appointment of gaon burhas (village heads).

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com