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By EMN Updated: Nov 14, 2013 1:07 am

Kohima, November 13
The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has demanded removal of Minister for Health and Family Welfare Imkong L Imchen from the Council of Ministers, failing which it threatened to boycott Statehood Day celebration.Addressing a press conference at Congress Bhavan here this afternoon NPCC president SI Jamir said Congress strongly demands the removal of Imkong L Imchen from the Council of Ministers since he has already been chargesheeted by Wokha police for his criminal conduct during the recently concluded state assembly elections. The NPCC called the press conference after submitting representations to Governor Ashwani Kumar and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in this regard.Jamir pointed that Imchen was caught red handed with crores of unaccounted money, illegal weapons and liquor in his possession at Wokha on February 18 and added that there are enough of evidence available against the minister.Imchen’s continuance in the cabinet has become untenable until he is proved innocent in the court of law, he said.The state Congress chief, while reiterating that Imchen has lost all moral authority to cling on to the ministerial chair, demanded his immediate removal from the State Cabinet so that the entire hearing process does not get influenced by his position as minister.
“Failure to remove the chargesheeted minister within the next fortnight would invite the NPCC to undertake mass agitation on the streets to the extent of boycotting the 50th anniversary celebration of statehood, since Congress will not tolerate a criminally tainted person masquerading as leader to make a mockery of law and hold the state to ransom,” the Congress maintained.
Meanwhile, the Congress also lamented that despite being the only opposition party in the state, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio failed to give appointment to the NPCC leaders to meet him for the last three days.
Former MLA and NPCC general secretary Supongmeren said, “We have been seeking appointment with the CM to submit the representation for the last three days and today we went upto his chamber but Rio did not meet us saying that he is busy.” “So we submitted the representation to one his office secretaries and came back,” he said.
Mention may be made here that Wokha police had filed the charge sheet against Imchen before the district court on November 4 with regard to his arrest on February 18 for carrying Rs 1.10 crore, arms, ammunition and liquor in his vehicle at Wokha.
In a separate representation to the Governor, which was also submitted today to his secretary in his absentia, the Congress besides the above points sought his intervention as the constitutional head of the State to prevail upon the Chief Minister for removal/ dismissal of Imchen as minister without further delay.
Jamir also lamented that the Congress has been demanding the same several times to the CM but this has not materialized.
He reminded that the NPCC also approached Speaker Chotisuh Sazo to grant prosecution sanction against Imchen. But the Speaker said it is not necessary to seek prosecution sanction since he was not on government duty, Jamir recalled.
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“Now that the chargesheet has already been submitted, we once again demand Imchen’s removal,” he said.
Asked about the move of the government on Rules of Executive Business and “not to send files to the Governor for approval”, Jamir termed it as a “very dangerous move”.
He justified that Article 371 (A) is a constitutional matter and Nagas should not be the first to violate. He said the Governor has special power on law and order related matter under the Article and the move would violate the constitutional matter.
“In fact we want government of India to translate Article 371(A) into action fully, but in the mean time if we want to scrap that clause we will be the violators of the article,” he maintained.
NPCC vice president Nillo Rengma and general secretary (admn) Medokul Sophie was also present during the press briefing.

By EMN Updated: Nov 14, 2013 1:07:11 am