Naga People's Front (NPF), the main opposition party in Nagaland, lashing out at the Neiphiu Rio-led People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) for increase in petrol and diesel prices, has termed it as "daylight robbery".
Terming the increase on cess on petrol and diesel "on the pretext of COVID-19" as a "mischief", the NPF has claimed that this "is nothing but deliberate day light robbery as major chunk of the burden would be borne by not the haves but by the have-nots."
The NPF in its statement has alleged that "no concrete roadmap has been shown by the Government of the day in managing the pandemic even after elapse of more than 50 days of nationwide lock down", adding that the party has chosen to remain a mute spectator on several occasions in order to "avoid politicking at the expense of the lives of the thousands of precious lives."
Accusing the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of taking the Naga people for a ride, the NPF claimed that the the Chief Minister during a meeting with various civil society organisations of Dimapur at the Rhododendron Hall Chumukedima delved "mainly on issues which had nothing to do with the COVID19 for which the meeting was called in the first place."
The NPF, in its communique, said: "Ever since the COVID 19 Pandemic erupted, the Naga People's Front (NPF) have voluntarily declared its fullest support to the Government of the day in tackling the present pandemic. This is because the NPF valued the lives of our citizens more than anything else. The NPF have been also reserving some of its opinion and concerns the way the PDA Government is managing the pandemic hoping that things will improve if sufficient time is given to the Government. However, the NPF regrets to see the way the PDA Government is handling the present situation."
It may be recalled that Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on May 13 called an emergency meeting of all Civil Societies Organisations (CSO) of Dimapur to seek their views, concerns and suggestions with regard to COVID 19 today at Rhododendron hall in Police complex at Chumukedima, near Dimapur.
Nagaland, meanwhile, has reported a single case of the virus and the patient was treated and then released after recovery from the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH). However, the patient has been added to the tally of Assam since he was tested 'positive' in Guwahati. Thus, Nagaland is still "free" from the coronavirus.
[Note: From midnight April 28, Nagaland started charging a 'Covid-19 Cess' on diesel, petrol and other motor spirits, in addition to the existing rate of tax and cess. As per a notification issued by Additional Chief Secretary and Finance commissioner Sentiyanger Imchen, the government is charging a cess of Rs 5 of per litre on diesel and Rs 6 on petrol and motor spirits.]