Guwahati: Naga People Front (NPF), the main opposition in Nagaland, has claimed that the "unsavory response" of the State Government to the letter of Nagaland Governor, R.N. Ravi written to Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio on June 16 is nothing but an "assorted collection of distorted facts and figures to deceive the Governor and the Naga people at large.."
Issuing a response to the episode, the NPF said that R.N Ravi is not a "schoolboy to not understand the basic parameters of identifying law and order situation in the State", adding that the findings of a man of such calibre by the State Government as one that "does not appear to be factual" and further humiliating him in the public domain by exposing the same in the State, Regional and National Media is "most disappointing."
The NPF queried why the Chief Minister and his Cabinet did not declare that the end result of R.N Ravi's observation was not 'factual' at a meeting. "When the matter could have been clarified officially, was it necessary for the Government to publicly humiliate the Governor by challenging the factuality of his observation in the public domain through the Department of IPR?", the NPF asked.
The NPF, in its statement, claimed that there is steady down-slide in all parameters of development in Nagaland under the present-day Government due to siphoning off of huge amount of Government funds meant for road connectivity, healthcare, education infrastructures, etc. and diverting them to various non-functional projects.
"The economic condition of the State is in a pathetic condition which is almost beyond recovery unless drastic measures are taken such as the present intervention by the Governor. While the economy of the State continues to be in doldrums, the financial position of the State is kept hushed up for reasons best known to those at the helm of power. Except for distorted facts and figures as already stated, the Government has refused to disclose the actual financial position of the State making its much-hyped catchphrase of maintaining transparency and accountability a castle in Spain", the NPF statement added.
Further pointing out that the ongoing construction of Dimapur-Kohima four-lane road including various other road projects under MoRTH is yet to be completed, the NPF added that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed on the direction of the Governor to prevent unlawful activities and to book miscreants obstructing the construction work of Dimapur-Kohima four-lane road following a Review Meeting held on January 11 is yet to come up with any "tangible result."
The opposition party also contended that the response of the State Government to the Governor that the law and order continue to be "normal and peaceful" is not factually correct."
"The best example of the laid-back attitude of the State Government is the way it is dealing with the Public Action Committee (PAC) formed under the aegis of Naga Council Dimapur. PAC, following a meeting held on June 25, 2020, had served an Ultimatum on the State Government till July 31 to initiate an anti-crime act similar to the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) or the Goonda Act to control organized crime which has become rampant in Nagaland", the NPF further charged.
The NPF also accused the ruling Government of "nepotism" and lashed out at the State Cabinet decision to regularize the post of 27 GDMOs who were appointed on a contractual basis on May 27, 2020, for a period of 12 months. The decision was taken on the excuse that there was a shortage of manpower to contain the COVID-19 pandemic which however had to be revoked when pressure started mounting on the Government. "Adding to the overall burden of the general public, COVID Cess was levied on Diesel and Petrol at Rs. 5 and Rs. 6 respectively which has led to a sharp price rise of various commodities in the State today", the NPF added.
It may be mentioned here that the Nagaland Government had met the Governor's claims, that the law and order situation in the state is in complete disarray, with utter coldness. In response to Ravi's statement, the BJP-backed Neiphiu Rio Government has claimed that the overall law and order situation is "normal and peaceful."