|Onus on Centre to resolve Naga issue: Rio|
DIMAPUR, March 19 – Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has reiterated that the Naga People’s Front (NPF) had never promised to bring about a solution to the vexed Naga political issue, while stating that the onus lies on the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre and Nagaland Congress party to take up the issue seriously and facilitate a solution to the decades-old problem.
Replying to allegations and clarifications sought by the Opposition Congress MLAs while debating on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address in the House on Monday evening, the Chief Minister said despite the NPF having denied making any such assurance in the 2003 elections as alleged by the Congress party, the Opposition has been intentionally raising the allegation again and again to hide its own blunder.
The NPF has denied this blatant allegation on a number of occasions, but the Congress continues to shout on the issue, Rio said and termed it as unbecoming of a national party to try and position its political approach on the grounds of false allegations. “It exemplifies the political approach of the Congress in Nagaland and enlightens us on why the people have lost confidence in the Congress party,” he said.
Turning his attack on the Congress Legislature Party leader Tokheho Yepthomi, Rio asked if such things had been heard by him (Tokheho) and his friends, why seven Congress MLAs led by Tokheho had joined the NPF after the 2003 elections and participated in the DAN-I Government for four years but never raised the issue during that point of time.
He said that in 2008, Tokheho had again resigned from the NPF and defected to the Congress. He also mocked at the Opposition, saying that in December, 2008, the Congress had gathered in the well of the Assembly, singing ‘We shall overcome’ which they are yet to do so.
On the charge of the Congress that the NPF has been dragging the Naga political issue to protect its position, Rio maintained that it is the State Congress which has instead been playing hide and seek on the important issue.
He also pointed out that the State Government is not a direct party to the political dialogue but only playing the role of facilitator in order to create an atmosphere that is congenial to the peace process.