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PDA Govt ignoring opposition in fight against COVID-19: NPF


Kohima, April 6: Political parties and Governments around the world are coming together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed thousands of lives, unlike India, where political parties are trying to politicize the pandemic, in one way or the other.
Nagaland is no exceptional to this, as the State Government is yet to sit across with leaders from political spectrums.
While the State Government has been applauded and appreciated for its initiatives for the preventive measures, despite Nagaland being a cash crunch state, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, hitherto, has not taken the Opposition, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) and other political parties into confidence, to collectively put heads together in the fight against coronavirus.
Political parties and Governments from over hundred countries have called for joint effort to combat the virus. “We call for science-based professional discussions on issues like prevention measures and the origin of the virus. We strongly oppose the politicization of public health issues and the stigmatization of other countries under the excuse of COVID-19. We stand firmly against all discriminatory comments and practices against any country, region or ethnic group, and call on governments of all countries to take proactive measures to protect the health, safety and legitimate interests of foreign nationals and students they host,” stated a joint statement issued recently by political parties across the world.
Political parties said they are of the view that the COVID-19 outbreak has laid bare the need for all countries to further foster global governance outlook of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration and to support the leading role of the United Nations and the World Health Organization in global public health governance. The called for all parties to enhance coordination and cooperation within the framework of the G20 and other international mechanisms for effective international prevention and control as they strive to build a global community with a shared future for public health.
They also undertook to maintain close communication under the unusual circumstances, and ensure better performance of the due role of political guidance for the purpose of injecting political energy into the global fight against COVID-19. “It is our belief that, after the pandemic, the community with a shared future for mankind will emerge stronger and humanity will embrace a brighter tomorrow,” the statement added.
However in Nagaland political parties have neither issued such joint statement nor decided to work collectively in these trying times.
The NPF which has 26 MLAs in the House of 60 has extended support to the Government by way of contributing one month salary. In their own effort Opposition MLAs are also trying to extend support to the people and their constituencies.
Former Home Minister and a senior NPF lawmaker, Imkong L. Imchen has appreciated elected members from the Government for extending help to their respective constituencies. But he regretted that Opposition MLAs are being kept under lockdown order.
“They (Opposition MLAs) are being treated at par with any citizen of the State even though they are people’s elected representatives. As such they too have extra responsibilities and burden, at least to look after the welfare and grievances of their respective assembly constituency people,” he said. He said Government has not given a proper recognition to the Opposition in the fight against COVID-19.
Nevertheless Imchen said the NPF MLAs have been co-operating and extending all possible assistance to the ruling party’s policies and programme transcending political lines. He said COVID-19 has got nothing to do with party politics and therefore his party has been conducting their politics cutting across party lines constructively. (Page News Service)