Congress on slippery ground
DIMAPUR, MARCH 27
President of the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), and veteran politician, Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu on Thursday swatted asides of any possibility of opposition Congress pulling off a major upset in the coming Lok Sabha elections and claimed that the latter had “no chance” of winning the lone seat to the Lower House. “I do not mean to underestimate the Congress but when we consider the ground realities, there is no chance for the Congress to win the (Lok Sabha) elections,” he said at a rally that marked the launch of election campaign for NPF-led DAN consensus candidate, and Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio here today at the DDSC stadium in Dimapur.
The diminutive and venerable Shurhozelie, who is otherwise widely respected for his staunch regionalist political ideology, said that the NPF had extended“the olive branch” to the Congress by inviting them to support its candidate, Rio.
He said the olive branch, to opposition Congress was “for their (Congress) own good.” The defeat of the Congress-led UPA government in Delhi was “already a foregone conclusion,” he added.
“All that they have done is to release two booklets. One is the ‘Bedrock of Naga Society’ and the other one is called ‘11 years of NPF misrule in Nagalan’. I have gone through both the booklets and I will not speak on the Bedrock of Naga society because it is a closed chapter.
“But their other booklet is just a compilation of assembly questions, some as old as seven or eight years. If they are going to compile the questions they have asked in the Assembly then they should also publish the replies we gave. The intention of the booklet is to confuse the public”.
Shurhozelie also shed light on the initial reluctance in the party ranks to allow the Chief Minister to contest the LS elections. “But we have a higher responsibility. So we are sending him today to the Lok Sabha with a higher hope.”