DIMAPUR, May 1: The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) accused the ruling NDPP of abdicating its responsibility on its youth wing to make vitriolic and sweeping statement against veteran elderly politician SC Jamir instead of responding to the latter’s views on the state of affairs in the state on its own.
In a statement on Monday, the NPCC’s communication department said Jamir has been airing his views which are common knowledge to the people of Nagaland. “His comments about the state of affairs perpetrate economic hegemony and confusion and drift taking place today,” it said, adding the Congress is proud that Jamir and former NPCC president K Therie have been speaking out openly on important matters when others choose to speak in ambiguous language.
The NPCC said it does not wish to degenerate into a paper war over what has been in the public domain but was constrained to respond to the unwarranted insinuation on the reputation of Jamir by “some persons operating behind the scene of NDPP youth wing”.
The Pradesh Congress also made it clear that it is not issuing the statement on behalf of Jamir since he does not need to defend himself as what he has said are facts that speak for themselves.
“Dr Jamir has retired from active politics and today speaks on what he feels strongly about the fate and future of the people of Nagaland. If his observation, based on his rich political and administrative experiences spanning over 60 years, is unpalatable to some section, then he cannot be faulted for that,” it said.
The NPCC said the NDPP, as the ruling government, has to answer why the regional party since 2003 has failed to deliver on every promise such as solution to Naga political issue within three months of coming to power made in 2003 and the abdication of constitutional authority which has invited legitimizing the actions of various extra-constitutional authorities.
“The sum total of the achievements of the party which untiringly parrots itself as a pro-people movement has only led to Nagaland earning the dubious reputation as the worst performing state overall in India in 2021,” it said.
On the urban local body (ULB) election issue in the state, the Pradesh Congress said it is unfortunate that the NDPP youth wing blamed Jamir’s government for the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001.
“During that period, the present chief minister was the home minister under Jamir’s government and was part of the decision taken collectively since Nagaland wanted to create new municipal bodies,” it said.
Saying that the current controversy over the ULB polls is not due to Jamir, the NPCC said the ruling government adopted the 74th amendment of the Constitution in 2006 that automatically incorporated inclusion of 33% women reservation in civic bodies.
In March 2022, the NPCC said, the ruling government recommended that the pending elections to civic bodies in Nagaland should be conducted according to the 74th amendment of the Constitution that mandates 33% reservation for women in civic bodies.
After the Supreme Court issued an ultimatum to the Neiphiu Rio government to fulfill its commitment to hold the ULB elections with 33% women reservation, the Nagaland government assured the court to hold the ULB polls and accordingly issued a notification on March 9 to hold it on May 16, the NPCC said. But the government took a U-turn by passing the Nagaland Municipal Act (Repeal Bill 2023) on March 28 to defer the holding of the polls, saying it will enact a “suitable act”, it added.
The NPCC said this has only invited contempt of court.
“In this regard, Dr Jamir asked that with contempt of court on the government, the issue is whether the present opposition-less government can remain in power,” the Pradesh Congress said.
It hoped that those having concern for the welfare of people will realise the wake-up call made by Jamir and the consequences of the present situation in the future.