Accuses Congress leaders of targeting his party

On the last day of campaigning before State Assembly elections on Saturday, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio alleged here on Thursday that the Congress was “misusing” Central para-military forces in conducting raids on candidates of his party, the Naga People’s Front (NPF).

The NPF has suffered major embarrassments after Rs. 1.1 crore in cash and unlicensed arms were seized from the vehicle in which State Home Minister Imkong L. Imchen was travelling.

In a separate incident, Rs.1 crore in cash was seized from another NPF candidate, Nyemli Phom, apart from other cash seizures.

“Even now our candidates are being checked and frisked by Central forces, while they are sparing the Congress candidates,” Mr. Rio said at a Press conference.

NPF president Shürohzelie Liezietsu said the money seized from Mr. Phom and Mr. Imchen was indeed from the party’s funds and valid vouchers were being carried by both of them.

According to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of the State, more than Rs. 2.8 crore and 42,000 bottles of liquor have been seized ahead of the elections.

Asked about Mr. Imchen’s arrest, Mr. Rio said the law will take its own course on the matter.

Mr. Imchen has already resigned from the Council of Ministers.

Mr. Rio alleged that Congress leaders including party president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and others from the Central leadership “have flooded Nagaland with cash” brought from New Delhi.

“The Central Gvernment is using its agencies and searching without warrants,” Mr. Rio said, adding that two Ministers of his government were searched by personnel of the Assam Rifles without a warrant on Wednesday.

The Chief Minister also claimed that the Congress is not serious about resolution of the Naga political issue.

He said he is confident of getting the mandate of the people for a third successive time.