Opposition leader in Nagaland TR Zeliang held Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio responsible for prompting by-election to Nagaland parliamentary constituency just three months after state Assembly elections conducted on February 27. Rio resigned from Lok Sabha in February to contest the state elections.
The by-poll to the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state will be held on May 28 and counting of votes will be done on May 31.
Addressing a by-poll rally for Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate C Apok Jamir here on Thursday, Zeliang said, “He (Rio) went to Delhi and returned to the state for not getting anything there,” referring to his non-induction in the Union ministry.
The NPF Legislature Party leader asked the people to ponder over Rio’s achievements in the last four years as member of Lok Sabha.
“Why by-election when the general election is due within year,” he asked. Another election has come when the dust of the Assembly elections has not yet settled, he said.
“Rio is responsible for creating a vacuum in the Lok Sabha for four months. This is a matter of concern because Nagaland has only one Lok Sabha seat and also because the Naga political dialogue is at a crucial juncture,” Zeliang said.
Stating that elections entail heavy loss and affects economy, he said the Nagas are in for an “undue election”.
Zeliang called the NPF the real Naga political party and described the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) as a “cocktail party” with globe as the party symbol which does not even have the word Naga in its name. “Can a party in a tiny state like Nagaland carry the globe,” he asked.
Seeking to differentiate between NPF-BJP alliance for 15 years and the present NDPP-BJP alliance, Zeliang stated the NPF never allowed BJP to dictate its terms while the NDPP is dictated by the BJP.
“We made them (BJP) follow Naga people’s design while NDPP could not convince them on the Naga people’s desire for solution before election,” he said.
Zeliang also castigated Rio for taking the credit for the schemes sanctioned by erstwhile Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN)-III government led by him.
“They call me and NPF president Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu liars. If we are liars, they are cheaters,” Zeliang said while pointing People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government’s promise to build sustainable roads in all district headquarters of the state within 60 days of coming to power. Except for Mon, none of the roads in the district headquarters has been repaired, he pointed out.
On transparency and accountability as promised by the PDA government, Zeliang said they have appointed 11 officers through backdoor and include 13 MLAs as ministers of state in the government. “They are talking something and doing something else,” he added.
Zeliang also held Rio responsible for creating trouble in the state for four years when he was the Lok Sabha MP after announcement of urban local body elections with 33% reservation for women.