‘Cong has not played role of strong opposition in Nagaland’

 KOHIMA, Feb 2 – Union Minister for DoNER and Panchayati Raj, Mani Shankar Aiyar has said that the Congress party in Nagaland has not been able to play the role of a “strong opposition” besides failing to question the State Government on utilization of Central grants and funds.

Speaking at the 1st Nagaland State Convention of Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Raj Sangathan at Dimapur yesterday, Aiyar said that the number of substantiated complaints received from the Congress is very less. “Instead of giving complaints, there is a feeling that I am friendly with Neiphiu Rio,” he told a gathering of Congress workers and MLAs.

He said that during the last two and one-half year to three years time, he has been doing his job honestly, receiving proposals, checking them and then releasing the money according to rules to strengthen the infrastructure of Nagaland.

But, the Congress in Nagaland has never asked the government as to how the money is being used; how much money has been given to the extremists and groups? And why is the money not being fully spent, he said.

Aiyar also disclosed that over Rs 650 crores has been released to Nagaland out of Rs 850 crores sanctioned in the last 10 years and during this period, the DoNER has given 99 different projects to Nagaland.

Aiyar said that the Congress party had good prospects in the last general elections, but due to “political mistakes” the party had to concede defeat. He also stressed on the need for a change in leadership in Congress, stating that new generation leaders are required in the party.

About the Lok Sabha elections, the DoNER Minister hoped that one Congress MP from Nagaland is very much required and asked the Congress workers to enable such a candidate to win.

The only way to ‘block’ Rio’s domination is to have a Congress MP from Nagaland in the Lok Sabha and “the challenge is to get that,” he said.