President of the Naga People’s Front and former Chief Minister of Nagaland Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu said the NPF shall opt for younger generation as party candidates in the coming General elections and was emphatic that habitual defectors would be weeded out.
Addressing a crucial meeting of the Central Executive Council, the highest decision-making body of the regional party today, Dr Shurhozelie said the NPF is a “party deeply rooted with the Naga society at all levels” and that the party cannot be handed over to “political tourists who are professional defectors moving from place to place for comfort and enjoyment.”
“Our political detractors do not hesitate to tell lies and also they are, perhaps, using money openly to lure our leaders. It was unfortunate that few weak leaders had fallen prey to these cheap games. But I am happy to see that most of our members remain constant which clearly demonstrate our commitment to the cause for which we stand for with clear understanding of the principles of our party,” he said.
Today’s meeting was attended by 112 CEC members with few legislators and party functionaries out of station owing to prior engagements. There are 172 CEC members and the list is with the Election Commission of India. Out of these, some have been suspended and terminated due to non attendance of CEC meetings and failure to renew their party membership.
Recalling the turn of events, Dr Shurhozelie said the dissident group originally planned to dismiss his Government, place men of their choice in position and “hijack the whole party to BJP to copy the Arunachal Pradesh drama.”
On the prospects of the 36 dissident legislators against whom disqualification petitions have been filed in the Speaker’s court, Dr Shurhozelie said they would have to find “a landing ground” if they want to contest the next elections and that they would have “no choice but to land anywhere where their collective leadership asks them to land.”
He went on to say that “under these circumstances, they want to create confusions and do some damages to NPF party if they can, but it will be a futile attempt on their part” since the regional party is much more deeply rooted to the Naga psyche than the dissidents can ever imagine.
On the issue of the Whip in Nagaland Assembly, Dr Shurhozelie expressed surprise how the Assembly Secretariat could issue notification on appointment of TR Zeliang as the Whip on July 19, 2017 merely “based on the information given to the Speaker by the legislators.”
“Even the venue of the meeting for appointment of TR Zeliang was the State Banquet Hall which is a Government building,” he pointed out and added it was for the people to judge which one of the two whips is “legal and constitutional and which one is self-styled.”
On the dubious role played by the Speaker to favour his brother in law TR Zeliang, Dr Shurhozelie said the Speaker “giving recognition to the illegal appointment of TR Zeliang as the Whip on mere information given by the dissident legislators is a total violation of rules.”
The Speaker has “desecrated the high office of the Hon’ble Speaker which will remain a black mark in the history of Nagaland Legislative Assembly and will have negative impact on his political career,” he said.
Also participating in the discussion, Huskha Yepthomi Working President reminded the party leaders that they should not forget the pioneers whose intention to form the regional NPF party was “to safeguard the principle of peace and welfare of the Naga people and that leaders should contribute their best to the ideology behind the party for the Naga people and stand firm in their convictions.”
He encouraged the party leaders that even though the dissident group has more MLAs, when it comes to party matter they have no future adding that the “dissidents believe in their money power but our party believes in God who protects the truth.”
Yitachu, MLA in his speech questioned if the dissident MLAs claim majority of MLAs can run the government in a democracy, “why are they having meeting after meeting and trying to lure the party workers with their money power every day.”
Pointing out that even if all the MLAs desert from the party and join the government, as long as the party is intact no force or power can snatch away the party, he said adding that the “dissidents talking about to take over the party is like a wild dream.”
The MLA also said that the party is “functioning smoothly according to the constitution and the party has nothing to be afraid.”
Another MLA, CL John said true and dedicated NPF party men and women were intact, whereas the “readymade power seekers were in the dissident group.”
“Only the regional-minded care for the welfare of the Naga people and they are intact and shall remain faithful in the party but the selfish leaders have left the party for good,” he said.
In his welcome address, Vikheho Swu MLA lauded the CEC members for remaining firm and stated that no force can divide or snatch the party if the members remain united and steadfast.
He said he was encouraged to see the attendance of the CEC members, asserted that “together we will restore the normalcy to the party and work for the Naga people.”
The programme was chaired by Apong Pongener, Working President while vote of thanks was pronounced by P Longon MLA.
Media & Press Bureau,
Naga People’s Front, Central Headquarters,
This Press Release was sent by NPF Bureau, who can be contacted by npfpressbureau(at)rediffmail(dot)com.