Terming the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) as a party engaged in ‘politics without agenda,’ Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang on Tuesday came down heavily on Neiphiu Rio and his newly floated party while campaigning for Naga People’s Front candidates at Mon, Longwa and Aboi in Mon district.
“The manifesto of NDPP is TR Zeliang as Rio has been talking only about me and nothing more during his entire campaign across the State,” he said.
On corruption during Rio’s tenure as Chief Minister, Zeliang said it was Rio who had ‘landed the State in a deficit of Rs 1234 crore after which he left for Delhi’.
Dubbing the NDPP party as one similar to an ‘unrecognized village’ with a ‘global symbol’ and a ‘nationalist name,’ the Chief Ministerial candidate of the NPF party said the newly-floated NDPP is least bothered about the Nagas.
On his qualification issue which Rio has been picking from day one of NDPP’s campaign, Zeliang clarified that he had never produced any fake certificate unlike the former.
“Unlike Rio who had produced fake BA Honours certificate while contesting for Lok Sabha MP Seat, I had never produced any fake Certificate,” he declared.
Zeliang narrated how a false Certificate was enclosed with Rio’s nomination papers during the Lok Sabha election in 2014 which later came up in North Police Station, Kohima for investigation.
Rio had then blamed his personal secretary for obtaining a fake certificate while the Principal and Vice Principal of Kohima College were made to apologize publicly, he recalled.
“‘It was not he alone that had committed an offense but in the process, he had forced others to lie for him,” Zeliang added.
While stating that Rio during his Chief Ministership for 11 years declared International Trade Centre in Longwa, Pangsha, Avangkhu ‘without any road connectivity,’ Zeliang likened it to ‘a dried up river where the people of Mon district were sent for fishing.’
“There was no sanction but he allotted the works to his men where fund was drawn against half done works,” Zeliang said while adding that his Government had, however, brought sanction for the same and the work is in progress at present.
“Government fund was utilized to build Noune Resort, Niathu Resort while escalation for construction of Cricket Stadium increased from Rs 25 crore to Rs 75 crore which was built on his own land at Sovima after purchasing it at a high cost,” he said.
“‘Unlike other political parties, we are highlighting what is taking place and not what will take place,” Zeliang told the gathering.