Metamorphosis: "In 2023, Naga CM does not need Jamir, Therie or Shurhozelie"

Nirendra Dev *

'Land is a mystery to fish, and by the time a fish discovers land, it is usually too late and the poor creature is on a hook'.

Even the life of a politician could be compared to the melancholic journey of a fish to the land. A man could be changed. Each man or woman has own individual path, but no one knows where the path leads to. Human beings are also prisoners to circumstances. This melancholic saga applies to even a journalist and successful politicians like Neiphiu Rio or S C Jamir.

Let's track.

1993 - Rio realises the futility of defection. As a 'defector' he could become Power Minister under K L Chishi but was 'disqualified'. And by the time the disqualification is revoked by Thenucho, the then Chief Minister Vamuzo decides to keep him away from the ministry. The chairmanship of NIDC is hardly a portfolio Rio rejoices.

He is back into S C Jamir fold and gets into the cabinet yet again as Works and Housing Minister. Jamir needs to strengthen grip over Tenyimi support base vis-a-vis strong Sumi rival Hokishe Sema. Two other Congress colleagues Shikiho Sema and I K Sema too were hardly political friends. Rio leads Jamir's 'Good Will Peace' ministerial teams to violence-hit Kiphire and Athibung. A journalist friend is taken on occasional trips. Shikiho even tells Jamir, " I do not have 'gaari-bhara' to go to Kiphire".

2003 - Rio is transformed. He is back into the regional fold. An old UDF youth wing leader, he wins veteran Shurhozelie's blessings. K Therie is a friend and all three have a common rival called Chubatoshi. The voters of Nagaland oblige and Jamir is ousted. Therie is now Finance Minister and Shurhozelie suppresses his ego and joins the Rio cabinet as Planning Minister.

But fun and friendship is short lived. Therie follows Chakhesang instinct and hence is opted out.

Now circa 2023. Rio does not need Shurhozelie, Therie or Jamir. Though the political brinkmanship is bitter, Therie still calls him 'my friend' and says - "Rio needs good friends and even sympathy".

In fact, in August 2022, Therie even told 'Nagaland Page' -- "...Rio may feel he is trapped. Otherwise, heart of heart, I don't know whether he will truly like to be in this manner......I feel his friends may even consider he should wish that he is defeated so that he is in peace".

Rio is of course encircled by new friends and loyalists. He may not meet old friends and so many of them do not know could be bothering him sincerely. His smiles almost vanished months back. Even army officials say his body language is changed. "From all sides, I am under attack," Rio confessed to a few friends even in 2022.

Unfortunately, there is a negative tag today - 'power hungry'. In politics anyone can be a 'prisoner' to circumstances, what are those? Who really are pulling the strings? At top, you are alone!

AICC media coordinator Mahima Singh says the Rs 70 crore High Court building scam has actually opened the doors for ‘Operation Lotus’.

“On the brink of ensuing elections, Rio and his partners land before the ED being probed for severe corruption in the High Court scam, but allowing the Centre to remote control Nagaland by misappropriating agencies so that draconian laws like CAA and Uniform Civil Code may be imposed....," she said.

There is another CAA related political fable. Former Rajya Sabha member K G Kenye, who supported the controversial legislation in 2019, could be entering the state assembly from Chizami on NDPP ticket. Will a dedicated BJP soldier Kevechutso Doulo now become a victim of circumstances?

In 2018, Doulo lost the seat by a narrow margin of only 403 votes. Similarly for Pughoboto - is it genuinely a Rio's idea to snatch the seat for his party or a nephew of a former NSCN-IM top leader? Then the ENPO imbroglio. People are also wary about grievances of Central Nagaland. Once a 'Nagaland Page' story claimed huge funds were allocated only for Dimapur and Kohima districts.

The 'wheels within wheels' is a powerful English phrase.

No much headway in BJP's 'seat share' review move

Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and state unit chief Temjen Imna Along met Assam Chief Minister and NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati on Jan 24 as part of the 'damage control' exercise to review the seat share arrangements with the NDPP.

"It was a good meeting...., more interactions could be required," a source in the know of things simply said. The Nagaland BJP leaders also met two other central leaders and will try to hold more consultations in Delhi in the next few days. The meetings assume significance as they were held in line with the assurances given by these leaders to their hundreds of Karyakartas in Dimapur on Sunday.

But sources say there was 'not much headway' from the Nagaland BJP's perspective as the party high command has promised 20:40 formula to the NDPP leadership headed by Chief Minister Neiphu Rio.

Meanwhile, another source said Rio also met his Assam counterpart Sarma. But whether Nagaland BJP leaders were present in the meeting is not yet clear. BJP central joint coordinator for north east, Rituraj Sinha is also reportedly camping in Guwahati. Sinha on Jan 5 had met a group of ticket aspirants including Dr A Sukhato, saffron party's nominee for Pughoboto in 2018 and several senior NDPP leaders in Dimapur.

Anti-Temjen posters and banners were brought out by BJP's Pughoboto Mandal workers on Tuesday as well. Several BJP Karyakartas and supporters were screaming in Dimapur during a mob protest on Sunday that "people and leaders from Assam" cannot decide whether the Naga voters will back the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or not.

One key office bearer of the saffron party was reportedly given a chase by the mob and such chaotic scenes and noisy protest had forced BJP leaders Patton and Imna Along promise the agitating crowd on Sunday evening that they will seek review of the seat share ties up to 30:30.

Besides seeking 20:40 arrangements, the NDPP has sought two seats from BJP's quota - Chizami and Pughoboto. Both the seats were lost by the saffron party nominees Kevechutso Doulo (Chizami - only by 403 seats) and Dr Sukhato (Pughoboto only by 70 votes).

* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for
The writer is based at New Delhi journalist
He is also author of books, 'The Talking Guns: North East India' and 'Modi to Moditva: An Uncensored Truth'
and can be contacted at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 27 January 2023.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa : Gallery
  • Tri-Nation International Football Tournament
  • Modern Cancer Treatment in Manipur
  • International conference on Natural farming
  • Importance of farm pond for agriculture
  • Drowned :: Poem
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Poireiton Khunthok (Abridged Translation) #1
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year) : Book
  • COVID-19 Status 21 March : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Implement NRC must precede delimitation'
  • Yuva Samvad - India@2047 organized
  • Serum for hair
  • As you sail through the noises
  • Seizure of PDS rice amid erratic distribution
  • Studying with a purpose in mind
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #3 : Gallery
  • Liquor prohibition in Manipur
  • Lifting Bhagyachandra and elephant
  • COVID-19 Status 20 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Bishnupur Cricket Association meeting
  • Fake News & Disinformation New Challenges
  • Prospect, feasibility of natural farming in state
  • Manipur and water crisis
  • Lamta Thangja @Kangla Gate : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Kabui Dance : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Oil and gas scenario in Manipur
  • NPF's 'Gandhigiri' gestures towards NDPP
  • Spreading happiness as a career choice
  • Afforestation campaign: Test of Govt resilience
  • Poppy plantation & agents of desertification
  • My Memories of Imphal #14 : Download
  • Imphal Turel condition [18 Mar] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Seminar on Awareness about lifestyle diseases
  • Pole Star :: Poem
  • Blunting of AIDS epidemic: zero-complacency
  • Conduct of election to Municipal in Nagaland
  • Saroi Khangba @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel, a yearlong tourist's destination
  • COVID-19 Status 17 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Her Struggle
  • In Nagaland, NDPP rises & NPF falls
  • Dream Zone - School of Creative Studies
  • Sluggish project works abetting water crisis
  • Taking the NRC call to Delhi : Unifying factor
  • Nongmaithem Tombi Singh's contribution #2
  • Highways of Life :: Movie Review
  • COVID-19 Status 16 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Farewell Maharashtra student : Gallery
  • How healthy is your relationship ?
  • G20: Driving women-led development
  • Yogini Temple of Hirapur, Odisha
  • Holistic laws must to cleanse rot in exam
  • All thunder & lightening but no rain
  • Bora Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Deepika Mayanglambam : Felicitated by Y20
  • COVID-19 Status 15 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Will shorter TB regimen reach those in need
  • From a student, Dear Dhanamanjuri University
  • An inspiring story of a fish farmer journey
  • British Council announces STEM scholarship
  • State's reputation at stake as drug...
  • Briefing Union Home Minister
  • Thabal Competition #1 : Gallery
  • International River day at Lairouching
  • COVID-19 Status 14 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Lembi Leima : Film Premeire at Melbourne
  • Ballad For Gloom :: Poem
  • Dialectics of identity & development #2
  • Patriarchy opting for Gender Equality
  • Demand for NRC, panel testifies restive state
  • All set for HSLC 2023 exams
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Railways acts as engine of development
  • The Book of Ichigo Ichie :: Review
  • Platform for women to re-start their careers
  • The rising threat of forest fires
  • Land allotment scam amid uproar over eviction
  • Noting stand of Forest Minister
  • English Pronouncing Skills : Book Download
  • Day 5: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Representation to PM seeking appointment
  • Condemnation of CM N Biren's interview
  • Eco-friendly management of fall armyworm
  • Honesty is the worst privacy
  • Resistance to Govt efforts to protect forests
  • Tough times call for tough decisions
  • My Memories of Imphal #13 : Download
  • Day 4: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Why COVID-19 continues to be a pandemic?
  • International Women's Day
  • 'Electricity collaboration' diplomacy in BBIN
  • Day 3: Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports: Yubi Lakpi at Khongman
  • COVID-19 Status 10 March : Govt of Manipur
  • UNHHRC access to Mizoram & Manipur
  • Govt to withdraw from SOO agreement
  • 4 Filmmakers invited for Indie8 Fest
  • Dialectics of identity & development #1
  • Thabal Chongba @Mongsangei #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #1 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2023 #1: Gallery
  • International Women's Day 2023
  • COVID-19 Status 09 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang Sports at Khongman
  • International Women's Day at IBSD, Imphal
  • Nakatheng Chatpa @Kakwa : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Sports item distributed at Bishnupur
  • Parents :: Poem
  • Call for world peace & harmony
  • Tips to play safe Holi
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba @Imphal : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba @Nabadwip : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang : Nostalgia, tradition & identity
  • GOI pressure on CM Rio to deliver solution
  • Update gun license otherwise
  • Art Exhibition @ RKCS #1 : Gallery
  • NE Convention on Indigenous Peoples Land
  • COVID-19 Status 06 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang (Holi) Festival :: Book
  • Railways: Engine of new growth in NE India
  • Precautionary measures during Yaoshang
  • Persons suffering from Sickle cell disease
  • Training on mushroom at Khangabok
  • Floodlight boon for state's sportspersons
  • Act not think for the future of Meiteis
  • Yaoshang Sen Khaiba : Gallery
  • Students Tour to Nagpur #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Lampak is calling
  • North East endorses Modi but with conditions
  • Elephanta Caves
  • After village chief, anti-poppy vow by legislator
  • The good & the bad of Yaoshang
  • My Memories of Imphal #12 : Download
  • Sangai Fest: Khutpak Chatkoi #2 : Gallery
  • 538th Birth Anniv of Cheitanya Mahaprabhu
  • COVID-19 Status 04 March : Govt of Manipur
  • Gender gap in STEM: Its impact & solution
  • On Rethinking Corruption
  • How sports help in development of women
  • Lanna Thouram of Chaoren #2 :: Gallery
  • Water use during water crisis: Hunphun/Ukhrul
  • COVID-19 Status 03 March : Govt of Manipur
  • World Wildlife Day : Awareness Cycle Rally
  • Farewell to students from Maharashtra
  • Bodoland International Knowledge Festival
  • Startups & NE India connect
  • Minister Biswajit's anti-poppy stand
  • Show no leniency to poppy growers
  • MANITEX @ Nilakuthi #3 : Gallery
  • Dr Surpriya Hawaibam: Ophthalmology Award
  • Time to get back to basics to end TB
  • In light of reintroducing Damodar Swami
  • Can Myanmar-Bangladesh promote ASEAN
  • Play organic Holi with natural colors
  • Must prepare to derive benefit of border trade
  • ST demand has come a long way
  • Likon Sanaba @Ningthoukhong #2 : Gallery
  • State Project Co-ordinator for Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 01 March : Govt of Manipur
  • National Science Day at Lilong
  • Lessons from the inferno @Sainik School
  • Messi -- The Name Is Enough -III
  • Tourism is a cross cutting industry
  • Spike in electricity demand
  • Lungnila : Long wait for justice
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #4 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Owner of Translucent Umbrella :: Poem
  • Scope of Pentatomidae as bio-control
  • Water shortage, sip on the rocks
  • 'Nagaland Poll- voter turnout of 85%'
  • Challenges to fruition of rice procurement
  • State needs Old Cachar Rd & more highways
  • Nongmaithem Tombi Singh's contribution #1
  • March Calendar for Year 2023 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Indigenous Peoples & Forest Rights
  • MPSC Civil Services Aspirants concerns
  • Bridal Beauty Sustainable Show @ Delhi
  • Student delegates from Maharashtra
  • Perennial apathy hallmark of Imp-Jiri road
  • Irrigation & agricultural productivity
  • Saroi Khangba @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • The delimitation issues of Manipur
  • Smoking rates decline in Cambodia but...
  • Plenty of money; Famine of leadership
  • Leader versus Boss
  • Fermentation tech of Beauveria Bassiana #2
  • Ugly side of competitive exams comes to fore
  • Economic development & investment
  • My Memories of Imphal #11 : Download
  • Sangai Fest: Cherry Blossom @Mao : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • The drunken 'Nagaland'
  • Who made who
  • Phone pe Panchayat
  • Lanna Thouram of Chaoren #1 :: Gallery
  • Singarei :: Poem
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • iDEX, DIO roadshow : Cybersecurity
  • Call For National Youth Volunteers
  • Prepare to manage future health emergency
  • Myanmar's two years of military rule
  • Bit early to gloat over School Fagathanshi
  • Points from Cong: Unanswered questions
  • Singju Festival @Heingang #1 :: Gallery
  • Students Tour to Nagpur #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • G-20 Summit and Manipur
  • Sports Infrastructure in Meghalaya
  • Just an article from the birthday boy
  • Spring skin & hair care and make-up
  • Students under pressure to pass exams
  • Where did the encroachers come from ?
  • 6th Intl Women's Polo #1 :: Gallery
  • The Djinn of vaccine hesitancy
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Messi -- The Name Is Enough -II
  • Challenges to India-Myanmar relations
  • Strength within pain :: Poem
  • Caste Census : Tool for development
  • Anxious moment for CSOs as rail progresses
  • Noting shabby Imphal-Ukhrul road stretch
  • Lui-ngai-ni Fest @ Chandel #1 :: Gallery
  • Gadkari with Manipuri students :: Gallery
  • Mangani Leihun of Chaoren #2 :: Gallery
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri :: Gallery
  • 74th Republic Day @ Kangla #5 :: Gallery
  • Jiribam Keithel [June 2022] #2 :: Gallery
  • Mangani Leihun of Chaoren #1 :: Gallery
  • MK Binodini's centenary - oral literature
  • Sangai Fest: Maram Dance :: Gallery
  • Valentine Day: Keep in mind of mental health
  • 74th Republic Day @ Kangla #4 :: Gallery
  • Aribam Syam Sharma :: Filmography
  • Chinese New Year @Bangkok 2023 :: Gallery
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023