Dimapur: In the wake of the alleged questioning of Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio by the ED in Ranagpahar army base here recently, the Rising People’s Party (RPP) on Friday said he (Rio) is now a “prisoner” of the BJP that will have “intense ramifications for the state”.

According to a report in a national daily, the CM was questioned by the ED on the alleged withdrawal of Rs 70 in the name of the non-existent high court building in Kohima.

 The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), however, refuted the news report saying that the chief minister was never summoned and questioned by the ED.

“Despite the NDPP table thumbing and their protests that the ED grilling the CM is fake news, there is no smoke without fire,” the RPP said in a release.

The RPP also said it has come to its notice that the ED is also vigorously “chasing” 10 NDPP seating MLAs. It said speculation is rife that the ED has built up cases of corruption against the 10 MLAs.

Quoting its sources, the RPP said these 10 MLAs may strike a bargain with the BJP to join the party.

“Similarly, given the aggressive pursuance of the case by the ED, the chief minister too joining the BJP cannot be ruled out either,” it said.

The party said Rio cannot escape the net cast by the central agency.

The RPP added that the NDPP is in a precarious position and that there is absolutely nothing it can do anything about it.

Quoting newspaper reports that the army has declined to comment on the matter, the RPP said the ED first interrogated five close confidants of the CM, one of who was his personal assistant, several months back under Case No. ECIR/GWZO/09/2020/488.

“Thus it is only natural that the chief minister himself should be interrogated,” the RPP said, adding it is not surprising that the ED interrogated the CM for six hours. “This interrogation is not the last and we expect more grilling in the days to come,” it said.

The RPP, however, said it is to be seen whether the ED will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion or not.

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