‘Don’t politicize Naga political problem’
Dimapur, May 19: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has reminded the ruling NDPP that using “abusive and nasty vocabularies” will not improve their Government in any way, and that condemning political opponent every day is never an achievement of a welfare Government.
Reacting to a NDPP statement, NPF president Shürhozelie Liezietsu also asked the NDPP leaders to understand that they are running the Government at the moment. “They have appeared to be more concentrating to destroy NPF rather than delivering good works to the Nagas as a Government. Every day they attack NPF without provocation branding NPF party as liar, visionless, disgraceful, confused and said that NPF leaders had gone into oblivion.
“They must have learnt all these abusing words from the best Universities in the world because all of them are highly educated honourable gentlemen. But using these abusive and nasty vocabularies may not improve their government in any way,” he said in a rejoinder.
On NDPP calling him a liar and “a President on bail,” Shürhozelie said he had already challenged them to a public debate on the matter and they failed to give their response. “I am an orthodox Baptist Christian. I have, time and again declared that I will go to any extent to defend my Christian faith. I am born free and I will continue to worship free and without fear in as much as Nagaland is giving freedom to all other religions to worship freely as enshrined in the Constitution of India. NDPP filed case against me because I have appealed to the people to vote for their faith. The case is still lying in the court. Why not come and arrest me if they considered that I am wrong in saying so,” he stated.
On NPF alliance with BJP for many years, Shürhozelie said the BJP joined NPF alliance in 2003 while they were in opposition at the Centre. In 2003 general elections in Nagaland, 8 BJP MLAs returned; in 2008 elections, 2 BJP MLAs including the present Deputy Chief Minister returned but they merged into NPF on the half way and there was no more BJP MLA in the Assembly for some time. In 2013 election, one BJP MLA returned.
“When BJP stormed to power in Delhi in 2014 we were, indeed, happy because one of our alliance partners took over the rein of power at the Centre. But they changed their colour completely and started making attempts to dictate us. But we could not yield to their demands because we, the NPF, represent the identity of the Naga people. We have our own principles to defend and protect the interest of our people. Perhaps realizing the reality, they themselves walked away from the alliance in search of greener pasture. We believe they are quite happy now with their new partners in their de facto Government. On our part, we have no regret whatsoever because we remain the same people with the same policies and programs whether we are with A or B or alone,” he said.
On NDPP questioning NPF about its support to BJP Government in Manipur, Shürhozelie said 4 NPF MLAs have been extending ‘support’ to BJP Government in Manipur even after the party parted ways with BJP in Nagaland.
“Every Naga leader including NDPP leaders are aware that we have a serious Naga political problem still going on with full of confusions having no sign to see the other end of the tunnel. Everyone talks about peace, unity, settlement of the Naga political problem. How far we are committed to what we have been talking or do we talk for the sake of talking. If we have real concern for a political solution to the long standing political problem let us understand that the same could not be solved through debate among the different political parties. The issue of this political problem should not be brought into agenda of petty political parties. The matter is beyond our power. We are only playing the role of mediation. And in playing such role, we have to listen to them provided that does not harm the other side. The issue is sensitive and, therefore, it is better not to talk about it if one cannot fathom fully the ground reality of the protracted problem.”
The NPF chief also reminded that Prime Minister Modi had promised to solve the Naga political problem within 18 months; the Governor of Nagaland had promised to solve the problem in six month’s time, while the PDA Government has been telling the people that the talk is going on in the right direction. “We want to see how these promises can be delivered to the people within coming few days to come. Under the circumstances, whether I withdraw today or after completion of election process, it remains the same once I have taken decision to withdraw,” he said.
On NDPP leaders still talking about his election in 1999 where he contested as an independent candidate, Shürhozelie said Nagas are aware that in 1988, the Naga Hoho had given a call for ‘solution and not election’. “To us, solution to our political problem was the first priority and therefore, we did not hesitate to risk our career which we considered to be a sacrifice and did not participate in the elections in response to the call given by the Naga people. Many of the present NDPP leaders were in Congress that time including the present Chief Minister who was a very strong man in Congress that time. For our non participation in the elections, the Election Commission of India had withdrawn my Party’s registration and freeze the symbol ‘cock’. I have decided to fight not to win but to regain the Party’ registration and its symbol ‘COCK’,” he said.
Shürhozelie said he could not contest on party ticket and could not use the symbol ‘cock’ because of these reasons and so fought as an independent candidate with bus as symbol to regain the registration as well as the symbol of the party and “I won in both.”
“I contested under a situation where Congress had full House of 60 members whereas my Party, Cock Party, had no MLA in a 60-Member House due to our non participation in the elections. I took up my responsibility and I could succeed in getting back Party’s registration and symbol. Why anyone should look at these thing with tinted eyes. It is an undeniable fact and I am not claiming any credit either,” he added.
(Page News Service)