Congress demands Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio's resignation over graft charges

Ahead of the Nagaland Assembly elections, the Congress accuses Neiphiu Rio-led Nagaland coalition Government of misusing public money; demands his resignation on moral grounds

January 24, 2023 01:28 pm | Updated 03:36 pm IST - Kohima

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. File

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. File | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

With just over a month left for the State Assembly polls, the Congress has accused the Neiphiu Rio-led Nagaland coalition Government of siphoning off public money, and demanded the Chief Minister’s resignation on moral grounds following a probe of his allies.

“CM Rio should’ve resigned on moral grounds as his government siphons public money while CM Rio & his many allies face ED interrogation. Because of Rio govt, Operation Lotus could find its roots in Nagaland, it’ll be worse if they’re allowed to expand,” Mahima Singh, media coordinator of All India Congress Committee (AICC), said on Monday while addressing the media in the State capital.

Against a ‘politically corrupt and opportunistic’ government

She highlighted the fact that while Nagaland’s High Court building, the foundation stone of which was laid by the Congress in 2007, still awaits completion, the buildings of Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura HCs were completed in 2013. “Although financial sanctions worth ₹70 crores have been made by Rio’s coalition Government till date, the High Court building is still nowhere to be seen,” she said.

Ms. Singh alleged if the coalition returns, then draconian laws like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Uniform Civil Code (UCC) may be imposed upon the innocent people of Nagaland, which are bound to trample upon their fundamental rights.

Claiming that the High Court scam has become a major opportunity for ‘Operation Lotus’ in Nagaland, she alleged that the BJP could blackmail the extremely corrupt Rio Government over this. Ms. Singh said, “The kind trusting people of Nagaland that were already being cheated upon by the Rio coalition Government, now their own chosen representatives are being blackmailed by the Centre as the corrupt ways of the Rio Government has put the State in the most vulnerable spot today with Nagaland emerging at the top with 90% corruption, while the rate of corruption elsewhere is 40-50%.”

Ms. Singh alleged that ₹22.42 crore was sanctioned for the construction of Judges Bungalow even though no area was earmarked for that.

The Congress on January 23 urged the people of Nagaland to elect its candidates in the February 27 state Assembly election by voting against the present “politically corrupt and opportunistic” government. The AICC Media Coordinator alleged that it is Mr. Rio’s politics of corruption, malaise, deceit and opportunism that the people of Nagaland must defeat in 2023 by voting out the NDPP and its blackmailer allies (BJP) to save Nagaland from becoming like Assam, Manipur, Goa, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Inclusivity for women

With no women legislators in the State over the last 20 years, she hoped that if the Congress came to power, there will be more inclusivity for women and assured that her party will fight hard for the people of Nagaland. “It is this politics of corruption, malaise, deceit and opportunism that the people of Nagaland must defeat in 2023 by voting out the NDPP and its blackmailer allies [BJP] from the Centre to save Nagaland,” she said.

Congress is an ideology and movement while its vision is centred around the Constitution of India and its people, she said, adding that it is the Congress which gave the nation its preamble which is being “sabotaged” everyday by the BJP.

NPCC working president Khriedi Theünuo said the Congress would be announcing its list of candidates after the official election notification is issued.

Mr. Theünuo also reiterated the party’s appeal to other like-minded and secular political parties to join hands and build a strong force to throw away the present government from the State.

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