Ahead of the polls, the Election Commission has seized cash worth more than Rs. 2.8 crore.

Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu, president of the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) speaks to Ananya Dutta on the major embarrassment caused to the government when a Minister was among those caught.

Most of those caught have been NPF candidates. The Central agencies, the Assam Rifles and the paramilitary forces — they are biased. The Congress candidates are not checked. The money caught, some of it belongs to our party, some of it belongs to others — businessmen or others, but it is immediately reported as if it was an NPF candidate.

But the State’s Home Minister Imkong L. Imchen had unlicensed arms, too. I cannot defend it. It is illegal to carry unlicensed arms and over and above that there is an order that during the time of elections, you must not carry weapons. Certainly it was a violation.

How will these incidents affect NPF?

The Congress candidates are carrying around much more, but they are never checked. Our people have been carrying only Rs. 3 lakh or seven or eight lakhs. It will not affect our campaign because we are a poor party. The people know us. The only thing the people will say is, ‘these NPF people, they are so careless.’

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