Kohima: The Rising People’s Party (RPP) has condemned the Nagaland government’s “cowardly attitude” to withhold salaries of its employees who do not get vaccinated against the coronavirus or fail to show COVID-19 negative report.

The RPP urged the chief secretary to cancel the notification with immediate effect. “This authoritarian nonsense has no place in a democracy like India. It’s clearly visible now that the state is suffering from leadership crisis,” the party said.

Saying that there are ways and means to tackle issues instead of ordering lakhs of government employees to take and pay for every COVID-19 test done once in every 15 days, the party suggested that any government which does not treat its own employees with contempt should provide the tests free of costs.

The RPP demanded that the government should not harass its own employees and should set up a separate COVID testing facility specifically for its employees.

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Citing the Meghalaya High Court verdict, it said forceful or mandatory vaccination violates the fundamental rights of a person. “With this notification, the Nagaland government is walking on thin line,” it said.

The RPP party said that the government’s decision is irrational and it raises suspicion that the state government is trying to “mobilise funds through dubious methods”.

“It’s nothing but extortion. After having made a blunder with the cess on fuel, the state government is again playing with the livelihood of its own employees,” the party added.

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