The press bureau of NPF in a release on Sunday said the PDA government reiterated their stance not to oppose the Bill quoting Article 371 (A) as a blanket protection not only once or twice but thrice.
Terming the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) media and communication committee’s statement, which appeared in local dailies on Saturday as “most unfortunate” and “ridiculous” statement of all time, the NPF said, “It is devoid of any truth and logic.”
The Opposition party said it was only on January 28 that they decided to oppose the Bill not because they care for the Nagas but out of pressure to save their political chairs.
“The people of the state are the best judges to this fabricated statement of the NDPP,” the NPF said.
The NPF said the PDA government had no choice but to “cringe back in fear” and “surrendered” to the will of the people at the eleventh hour on learning that the Naga public totally rejected the Bill and also boycotted the Republic Day, spearheaded by the NSF, on the issue.
It also called the consultative meeting convened in Dimapur on January 31 as nothing but an eyewash by the PDA government to garner the attention and sympathy of the Naga people.
The NPF said most of the NGOs and Tribal Hohos questioned the PDA government for convening such a meeting after its cabinet had on two occasions decided not to oppose the Bill.
Many civil societies and the Naga leaders, who attended the consultative meeting, did not agree to the “stone hard leaders” of the PDA government, who were boldly advocating that Article 371 (A) and the ILP can shelter the Bill, it said.
Till January 28, the NPF said, the NDPP-led PDA government’s stand was not to oppose the Bill, for which the State Cabinet team was congratulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.
Responding to the NDPP’s query on the role of Opposition leader T.R. Zeliang, who was the chief minister during the period when the Bill was drafted and came up in the Lok Sabha in 2016, the NPF said the NDPP should not forget that Rio was the sitting MP in the Lok Sabha when the Bill was introduced in the House.
“Rio’s schedules were too hectic at that point of time since he was engaged in weaving tsunamis back home to completely annihilate the NPF party,” it said.
“Shifting the blame to NPF leaders after being caught up in the very act of betrayal itself is only demeaning their party which is on the verge of collapsing to the ground,” the NPF said.
It also reminded the NDPP that Article 371 (A) cannot override the Indian Constitution and has nothing to do with the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
The party further advised the NDPP to be committed and concentrate on the people’s welfare programme instead of indulging in paper wars.