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Against opposition-less Govt., says BJP

Nagaland News

Kohima, March 10: Amid political parties extending support to the newly formed Government headed by Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, the Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) said it is against opposition-less Government in Nagaland.
The saffron party today said the party high command is against the idea of opposition-less Government, even if the alliance partner, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), may be ready for such political arrangement. But there was apprehension that the NDPP which could secure 25 seats may try to increase the seats by poaching MLAs, so as to remain comfortable in the Assembly.
Political parties and newly elected independent MLAs have extended support to the Government, though none of them have been inducted in the Government.
Nagaland has had opposition-less Government for the third time, and is now looking for the fourth time.
Severe criticisms have started pouring in from various quarters over the Naga lawmakers resorting to undemocratic means and betraying the mandate of the people.
A senior NDPP leader asked people to be more vigilant, as well as outspoken to point out the unwanted activities any opposition-less Government might tend to indulge in. “The tribal hohos should take in responsibility of acting as opposition if we are to ensure a better Naga society,” he suggested.
He said considering the huge expenses incurred by many politicians during the elections people can expect any of them to adhere to their principles and ideologies, instead it should not be a surprise to anyone that the elected representatives want to either be in the Government or be in the good books of the ruling dispensation.
A senior leader from the Naga People’s Front (NPF) said opposition-less Government would be meaningless in a democratic country as checks and balance of the functions of the Government would not be there.
“Why elected members from political parties other than NDPP and BJP wanted to join the Treasury Bench is without justifiable ground. These members thought that they would not be able to make money if they sit in the Opposition bench. Where is their manifestos and principles gone,” he asked.
He said when no one is willing to perform the role of the opposition there was no point in contesting on different political platforms. He said Nagaland definitely needs a strong opposition to weed out corruption and bring in good governance.
“Money is greater than God. This is the saddest part of our Naga society today and with this trend our present and future looks bleak,” the NPF leader said.
“Mockery of democracy. Nobody wants to play the role of opposition. By default, Congress without any
MLA will again shoulder the burden from outside,” Congress spokesman Captain, G K Zhimomi said. He said there will be collective raid on the State’s exchequer without any checks or balances and zero accountability.
Zhimomi said there is less understanding about the essential role of the opposition in the functioning of the Government by majority of the electorates and by the leaders they elect.
“We are in total chaos and very childish in our understanding of democracy. There cannot be a democracy without opposition,” said President, Naga Overseas Association, Dr. Visier Sanyu. He said it will be the same as dictatorship as everyone has to obey the boss. He said the least people can do is to make civil society organisations as some kind of watchdog, but added that it cannot play the same role.
Prof. Paul Pimomo from the United States said an opposition-less legislative assembly in a democracy is untenable – it would mean the different parties have no ideological and policy differences in which case they belong to the same party, which doesn’t make sense.
“An emergency situation or a grave matter may call for a temporary suspension of opposition to Government by the ruling party. But such a suspension is by definition only for emergencies, short lived,” he said.
Prof. Pimomo said there has got to be something radically amiss with a Government in a democracy that does not have an opposition party, adding that such a Government might be in the hands of an authoritarian leader, or the legislators may be in cahoots for some undemocratic agenda, possibly worse.
He said remedies for such rare situation would require an innovative strategy from the voters like recalling of their representatives if they had run on a different platform than that of the ruling party’s, and seek the court’s intervention and nullify the election as fraudulent.
“It is immoral, unethical, ignorant, and undemocratic, if not outright shameful to run opposition-less
Government for democratically elected system of Government because we need opposition party to provide good governance and accountability,” said retired Director General of Police (DGP) Besesayo Kezo.
Otherwise, he said, it will become a conspiracy. “It is incredible that even when we voted for the best candidate, we still continue to elect the candidates who don’t have the guts to sit in the Opposition
Bench,” he lamented.
Kezo said electorates have successfully replaced 27 MLAs but asked whether the 33 candidates really deserve people’s support for another term. “We are equally accountable for what has happened now because all of them have won with our votes and we continue to support them. Should we feel pity for ourselves for electing the wrong candidates and blame the candidates or curse ourselves for making the wrong choice or voting under fear or inducement,” he added. (Page News Service)

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