By Imna Longchar
Dimapur (Nagaland), June 3: The NPF Legislative Party (NPFLP) on Thursday has said that the party could no longer tolerate the arbitrary and dictatorial functioning of the Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) government led by the Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio.
Stating that the Constitution of State High Powered Committee (HPC) comprising of 6 members with the Chief Minister as the Chairman, the NPFLP spokesperson, Imkong L Imchen, in a press statement said that it is “abusing” its power.
Mentioning that the HPC was constituted on policy matters relating to COVID-19 only as per government notification No.GAB-1/Com/GEN-1/2020 dated Kohima June 1, 2020, Imchen said that as per the notification, thus HPC on COVID-19 was not mandated to encroach into the State Plan Budgetary mechanism whereas LADP which was initiated and implemented from the year 1991 under the then Chief Minister, Late Vamuzo under the caption “Compact Area Development.”
He informed that from the very beginning, the fund was borne out of “State Plan Fund” and trust placed upon the MLAs for the development of their respective Assembly Constituencies and therefore, it is a legislative mandate monitored by the Department of Planning and Coordination (State Planning Board) with the Chief Minister as the Chairman.
With guidelines being formulated and notified duly which has the approval of the Legislative Assembly hence, the LADP is within the domain of the Legislative jurisdiction and therefore Planned and Voted “Money,” said Imchen.
Also stating that the HPC under no legal circumstances has the authority to divert this “voted money” to a different “Head” without routing through the Legislative Assembly, he said that for this matter, the confidence (vote) of the House was by passed, therefore, unconditional and illegal action/activity of the HPC and as such liable to be quashed or by another superseding notification to that effect.
Informing that there is no provision in the Constitution of India that states that “Government of Nagaland” is an “Aristocratic Oligarchy” but a democratic government elected by the people for the people for a people’s representative government with specified period of five years, the NPFLP spokesperson, however, said that the incumbent government is “acting” as an “aristocratic government” negating all laid down democratic norms and procedures which is “untenable.”
He later said that the HPC on COVID-19 has no authority whatsoever to encroach into the Legislative domain, diverting “Voted” (planned Funds/LADP) into the COVID-19 expenditure.
Meanwhile, according to the press statement, it is said that the people of Nagaland have given their mandate to the NPF party by electing 26 out of the 60 seats in NLA, emerging as the single largest party in the 13th NLA election.
“Even though, the party was not given opportunity to explore forming the government as per the conventional practice, yet, the party has not made it an issue to anybody in this regard but rather resolved to sit as “constructive opposition” to whosoever could manage the majority in the House,” said Imchen.
He further added that today though the party is keeping its words as constructive opposition to the ruling dispensation for the last three years, however, he disclosed that it is regretted that theruling dispensation has taken its (NPFLP) humility as its weakness thereby the State Government has been ignoring all established norms and procedures in the process of governing the State.
NPFLP demands NIA probe
With regard to the allocation of Rs.30 Crores to Christian Institute of Health Sciences & Research (CIHSR), which is a private health institution, Imkong L Imchen has termed it as another “Oligarchic action” of the PDA government.
Imchen said as per the clarification of principal director, H &FW, Kohima, Dr. Neikhrielie Khimiao, has stated that the 176 bedded hospital being set up at CIHSR would be a “makeshift COVID Hospital” and whereas makeshift hospitals are usually tentage and such a hospital costing to the tune of Rs.30 Crores for which he said is happening yet again only in the state of Nagaland under the present Government dispensation.
In this regard, he said the NPFLP has demanded Nagaland Governor for a thorough NIA investigation as the party felt that the whole process of this “construction is flawed and fishy” as there was no flouting of tender in any form.
Stating that all the districts in the state has the District Task Force (DTF) on COVID-19 which has been established for COVID related purposes, Imchen voiced that so far no fund allocations were made to these bodies worth mentioning while all the District Hospitals, Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres and Sub-Centres are neglected whereas, these are the nodal/primary bodies who are actually the “Frontline Workers” fighting the COVID pandemic.
He also was apprehensive about the no proper manpower deployment in these areas except the high sounding nomenclatures such as Expert Panel, High Powered Committee, State Disaster Management Authority and War Rooms, making only unnecessary “noises” in the media, whereas, the COVID case is increasing day by day without any decline.
“Hospitals and offices are sealed, and the State is under lockdown without proper logical arrangement,” he said while also adding that the government of the day is not functioning for all practical purposes.
Under the stated condition, Imchen has sought the benevolent intervention of the Nagaland Governor so that the poor people of the state do not succumb to fatalities of the COVID-19.