Former chief minister and Lok Sabha MP, Neiphiu Rio, today said the present crisis within the NPF was all about “change of leadership and not change of government.”
“The crisis is within; it is not about change of DAN government but change of leadership within the NPF”, Rio told the Morung Express on the sidelines of a party meeting of the “newly” constituted NPF central team here at Niathu Resort.
Rio who also favours Kaito as the next chief minister of the DAN government was of the view that TR Zeliang should pave way for a smooth transition since the latter no longer enjoys “support of majority” of NPF legislators as well as the NPF Party.
The former chief minister said the request for change of guard was same as what he called the ‘Kaziranga Formula’ where chance should be given to the majority. It may be mentioned some eight months back, TR Zeliang, was elected as chief minister after he was able to muster majority of the NPF legislators who were camped at a resort in Kaziranga.
Rio said at present, Kaito has the support of 22 out of the total 38 NPF legislators, two MPs and NPF rank and file of eight district divisions and 42 assembly constituencies.
But instead of gracefully recognizing the majority group, Rio said the NPF president, Dr. Shurhozelie, acted in an “autocratic manner” and straight away suspended nine NPF legislators who favoured Kaito.
Quoting NPF Party motto “Fide non armis”, he said any dispute within the NPF Party should have been amicably resolved but that Shurhozelie took a biased stand and fully supported the minority group. “In ancient times, might was right but in modern democracy the voice of majority should prevail”, he said and added that after patiently pursuing for “reconciliation” for nine days, the “majority” had no option but to elect a new NPF Party president and team yesterday.
On allegations that he had planted the seed of “dissent” among the NPF legislators, Rio clarified he did not personally call anybody (legislators) but by virtue of being their former chief minister and leader, they came to him on their own accord to seek suggestions.
On the other hand, the Lok Sabha MP alleged that his former colleague TR Zeliang had failed to exhibit leadership on all fronts. In addition, Rio said Zeliang was responsible for burning the bridge of NPF alliance with BJP by disqualifying the BJP MLAs. “Now the ball is in the court of the Governor. It his wisdom to find a solution”, Rio said and added that in his opinion, the Governor should invite the majority group to run the government. (Morung Express News)