NPF office in Kohima
File image: NPF office in Kohima

The Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Thursday accused chief minister Neiphiu Rio of taking the Naga people for a ride on the COVID19 issue.

To justify its point NPF said Rio during a meeting with various civil society organisations here on Wednesday delved mainly on issues which have nothing to do with the COVID19 for which it was called.

The party said it issued this press communique as the reports in the media failed to cover and report allegations and misinterpretation of Rio in the meeting.

The NPF press bureau in a statement said Rio must have mistaken the said meeting for a budget session in the Assembly as he started his address with the state deficit figures which is absurd and holds no relevance.

He must have brought the deficit issue out of guilty conscience as his tenure in 2003 started with zero deficit after the then Vajpayee government magnanimously gave a one-time grant to the state to wipe out negative deficit of the state, it said.

“Now for him to blame the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland-III government for the huge deficit which he had incurred during his 11 years tenure at the helm makes for a good comedy show,” it said.

The party also alleged that Rio’s attempt to tinker with the delimitation process was evident from his address at the meeting.

It asked, “What has delimitation got to do with this pandemic?”

The NPF said Rio also brought the Naga political issue, which is yet another unrelated issue, in the meeting.

The party said Rio has terribly failed in addressing the issues of bringing back the stranded Nagas to setting up proper quarantine centres, which is an indication of his poor leadership.

“Trying to score some political points by engaging in politics in such meetings which was attended by civil organisations is no more than the real true face of Rio,” it said.

The party added it was unfortunate that the chief minister wanted to play politics when the Opposition party and civil organisations have been extending its fullest support in the fight against the virus.

The Opposition party alleged that the state government has not shown any concrete roadmap to managing the COVID pandemic even after elapse of more than 50 days of nationwide lockdown.

It said it chose to remain mute spectator on several occasions despite the present People’s Democratic Alliance government’s indulgence in various mischiefs in the guise of COVID19.

The NPF cited the increase in the cess on petrol and diesel, among many misadventures of the government, on the pretext of COVID19.

The party said this is nothing but deliberate daylight robbery as a major chunk of the burden would be borne by the have not by the haves.

Bhadra Gogoi

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