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Committed to defend regional interests, says Shürhozelie


‘I never worship national parties in my life’

Dimapur, February 3: NPF president Dr Shürhozelie Liezietsu today said he pay due respect to all political parties including national parties but he never worship national parties because he is regional in everything.
“I always pay due respect to all political parties including national parties but I never worship national parties in my life because I am regional in everything and my commitment is to defend regional interests,” he said while reacting to NDPP president Chingwang Konyak statement about the NPF president’s relationship with BJP.
In a rejoinder, Shürhozelie reminded that in 2003 he had invited all non-Congress political parties to join him to fight against Congress rule in Nagaland, and BJP along with NDM and few other national parties including some leaders from Congress party joined him.
“BJP was in opposition in Delhi that time. Since then BJP was with me for 15 years. I repeat, they were with me and they survived under my protection. During this period, we were on our own and they were on their own without any interference or imposition as far as party matters were concerned. So, your (NDPP) association with BJP today and my (NPF) association with BJP in the past are quite different,” he reminded.
‘De facto BJP Govt’
Shürhozelie stated that the NDPP is now running a de facto BJP Government in Nagaland whereas in the past, BJP was attached to NPF with one or two MLAs or sometime without any MLA. “And that is the difference,” he said.
The NPF president also pointed out that he had never conceded a single seat to BJP in election during the past 15 years but the NDPP had conceded 20 seats to BJP “the same evening they wedded together; and that is the difference.”
Shürhozelie also reminded that the NDPP has filed case against him just because he said that “I would defend the Christian faith in Nagaland.”
“They interpreted my speech as communal and filed case against me. That case is still lying pending in the court.”
“Let me remind my friend once more that I will continue to defend my faith in Nagaland, however unworthy I am, in as much as we allow other religions to enjoy that freedom in Nagaland. This is in reference to Article 25 of the Constitution of India. I am very clear of my stand and I sleep well at night,” he said.
‘Personal attack’
On Chingwang attack on him, Shürhozelie said, “I have all my respect for Mr. Chingwang Konyak as an elderly man, but I am sorry to find out that he did his best to demean me in his writing from the beginning to the last. He was more personal than presenting his argument as the President of NDPP. He mentioned six points in his long statement based on few lines of my written speech dated the 31st January 2019 about their motto and symbol.”
Shürhozelie said in his speech at the NPF CEC meeting, he had mentioned about 9 political parties, which were formed at different times during the last five decades by Naga leaders, but all of which disappeared one after another. The reason for their disappearance may be attributed to lack of political ideology, he said. As for NPF, Shürhozelie said they survived for 56 years now against all odds because “our political ideology is deeply rooted in the unique history of the Naga people.”
‘Motto & symbol’
The NPF president admitted that while mentioning about those political parties that appeared and disappeared one by one, he had also mentioned NDPP to be one of such parties. According to Shürhozelie, he said, “Today, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) is ruling the State. This Party is not a regional party as its name indicates. They own the Globe to be their empire and as such they have no program for Nagaland. ‘Facta non Verba’ (deeds not words) is the motto of St. Edmund’s College, Shillong. I am aware of it because I was a student of St. Edmund’s College once upon a time. Looking back from the literary perspective, if they have not taken permission for its use, their motto is to be treated as a stolen goods.”
He said if NDPP had taken care of the established norm while adopting it, matter ends there. “There is no point for anyone to become allergic.”
Shürhozelie said he fails to understand Chingwang’s intention when he talked about French flag. “The colors of French flag may be same with NPF flag. But my flag is horizontal whereas French flag is vertical. Horizontal and vertical are two different things. But even if one presumes it to be same, what is the point of argument? He said that Cock symbol is a universal symbol used by several institutions. Let it be so, but as for us, Cock is a sacred bird for the Naga people which every Naga will agree, and this needs no further explanation.”
‘Unceremonious removal’
Shürhozelie agreed to Chingwang’s contention that he was unceremoniously removed as Chief Minister, but said he has no regret for it because he never asked for that chair. He said he was compelled to take up the job to save the situation created by some one in which precious lives were lost and more than 20 Government offices burnt down in the capital etc.
Stating that he took the stand to face the challenge, Shürhozelie said he successfully brought back the situation to normal in one month’s time, and he did his job to the full expectation of the people. “Therefore, I have no regret for my removal as Chief Minister. …I do not feel bad even if any one mocks me in this manner like he does because I believe in the wisdom of my people who understand the very reason in this drama,” he added.
‘Open challenge’
Agreeing with Chingwang that today Naga people are fed up with the politics of lies and propaganda, Shürhozelie called upon all political party not to take the Nagas for a ride, and to let truth prevails.
“I am sorry to say that I hate paper war. Therefore, if need be, I want to throw an open challenge to have public debate on the whole matter,” he added. (Page News Service)