Dated February 17, 2018
Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang said the newly floated political party Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party is totally bereft of programmes and policies for the people of Nagaland and that “its one-point Manifesto for the forthcoming general elections seems to be TR Zeliang.”
“I am amused at the lack of vision the party has for the people and instead the leaders of the party seem to be fixated with me and my educational qualifications. But what has educational qualifications got to do with politics? I am not appearing for any NPSC examination,” Zeliang said and lampooned at the way the NDPP’s chief ministerial candidate Neiphiu Rio had been touring the width and breadth of the State not mentioning any developmental activities he had in mind for the people and the State, but merely mentioning ad nausea his, Zeliang’s, qualifications.
Addressing the Election Kick Off campaign for NPF Mokokchung Division today at the Division office in Mokokchung town, the Chief Minister said he had contested general elections eight times and had won six times, and had all these times submitted the real certificate which showed him as having appeared BA examination.
“Rio had, in 2014, decided to go to the Parliament and he acquired a fake certificate of having passed BA Honours, that too, on a Sunday, perhaps with the intention of impressing the central leaders,” Zeliang said evoking guffaws from the crowd. He went on to remind the people that Rio’s “Sunday Certificate” did not have any impact with his political fortunes at the Centre.
“We did not want Rio to go to the Parliament and requested him to continue as the Chief Minister. But he knew that the BJP would be coming to power at the Centre and, expecting to be given a Union Ministerial berth, he defied our requests and went on to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
“Secondly, after having a zero deficit budget in 2004 when the Vajpayee Government gave a one-time grant of 365 crore, Rio had landed the State in a deficit of Rs 1,234 crore by 2014 and wanted to get out of the Government.
“When he found that the Prime Minister was in no mood to accommodate him in the Union Government he started making all sort of trouble for our Government in a bid to return to State politics and/ or to remote-control the State Government by making one of his cronies as the Chief Minister,” Zeliang pointed out.
On his parting ways with Rio in the first week of December last year, Zeliang said, “When we realised that Rio’s intention was to freeze the NPF symbol “Cock” and take all the 36 MLAs to his party NDPP, we had to reconcile with Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu to save the NPF party. But we were astonished when he renounced any association with the NDPP and returned to the NPF. He tried very hard to sour relations between Dr Shurhozelie and me, but Dr Shurhozelie must have realised that he could never trust Rio and somehow our relations were strengthened. We heaved a sigh of relief when Rio left NPF and went back to his NDPP which is yet to be recognized by the Election Commission of India.”
On the allegation that his Government is “visionless and corrupt”, Zeliang had this to say: “Whereas the sole agenda and Manifesto of the NDPP seem to be me and my educational qualification, our Government had made an in-depth study and brought out a document called “Vision 2030” which was released by the Governor of Nagaland himself last year during the Hornbill Festival. As a matter of fact, we had used the services of former Chief Secretary Alemtemshi Jamir who is now the Working President of NDPP, and few other officers. This Vision 2030 envisages our plans and programmes to skill the youth of Nagaland, improve the over-all living standard of our people, concentrate on agri and allied sector to improve the economy of the rural areas, effect reforms in the Government to provide better governance to the people, eradicate corruption and mal practices, and so on and so forth. If NPF-led Government is a visionless Government, where is the vision document of the NDPP?
“Is it a corrupt practice to execute works and draw the bills? Is it not corruption when project costs are escalated several hundreds of times as was the case in construction of Sovima Cricket Stadium and several other projects during Rio’s time?” he asked and went on to ask the audience to name if Rio had brought any noticeable projects in Mokokchung district during his tenure as MP?”
The Chief Minister went on to narrate the road projects he had brought to Mokokchung district which are approved by the Ministry and under tendering process such as 2-laning of road from Gandhi Ashram, Chuchuyimlang (NH 2) to Pangsha International Trade Centre, a distance of 167 km; 2-laning of NH 702 D from Mokokchung to Tzurang Bridge, Nagaland Gate (78.5 km); 2-laning of Mokokchung-Zunheboto & Chazouba to Meluri via Thevophisu (Phek); 2-laning of Changtonya-Longleng SARDP-NE road (35 km) for which major alignment process by M/S RITES is on; 2-laning of Merangkong – Tamlu SARDP-NE road (100 km) for which NOCs have been received from village councils and excavation works completed for 30 km as per NH standard.
The Chief Minister went on to mention upgradation works of Yimchalu village road from Impur Junction connecting Mokokchung town (17 km) amounting to Rs 16.93 crore under CRF for which 55% of the works have been completed; upgradation of road from Alongchem to Mangkolemba via Impur, Mupongchuket Ongchem (19 km) at the cost of Rs 22.33 crore which has been sanctioned by Ministry of DoNER under NLCPR and work order issued in August 2017; and improvement of road from Mokokchung (NH 155/ NH 202) Junction to Aghunato (88 km) at the cost of Rs 158.31 crore under NEC for which 95% of thew works have been completed.
Naga People’s Front, Central Headquarters,