PDA kicks off election campaign from Dimapur
Source: CMO Nagaland *

Dimapur, May 15 2018: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today called upon the people of Nagaland to work collectively and support the People's Democratic Alliance's consensus candidate Tokheho Yepthomi in the forthcoming bye-elections to the Lok Sabha from Nagaland Parliamentary Constituency.

Addressing the launch of the PDA campaign at the DDSC Stadium, Dimapur on Tuesday in front of a jam-packed audience, the Chief Minister appealed to, and invited the people to be a part of the change that is being brought about by the NDPP led PDA Government.

Expressing gratitude to the Alliance partners BJP, JD (U), NPP and Independent for unanimously endorsing the NDPP candidate Tokheho Yepthomi as the consensus candidate of the PDA, Rio narrated some of the PDA Government's crucial decisions after coming to power.

These include a ban on VIP culture and chief guest system, repair and maintenance of roads etc.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio addressing the gathering
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio addressing the gathering

The Chief Minister also disclosed that the PDA Government released the pending scholarships of students and also assured to release the scholarships on time in future too.

Besides these, the pending salaries of Government employees have also been released, the CM stated and added that his Government had released money to the VDBs/Village Council which were pending for the last 3 years.

These include household allocation, matching grant and incentives.

The Chief Minister assured that systematic release of funds will continue once enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct is withdrawn by the ECI upon completion of the electioneering process.

Other important decisions include setting up of an investment and development board, preservation of environment and wildlife, promotion of young entrepreneurs etc.

The CM further revealed that the PDA Government had decided to give 5 lakhs ex-gratia in the event of any unfortunate tragedies or deaths of Naga students studying outside the State in different parts of the country.

For this, it was necessary to record the details of all Naga students studying outside.

The Chief Minister, who is also the president of the Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA) said that the Government and the NOA will actively promote sports and formulate a Sports Policy.

The CM hoped that this will be able to be achieved within the targeted period of 100 days and further informed that every two years the Nagaland Olympics will be held wherein players will be selected from the School level upwards to represent the respective districts in the various Olympic disciplines.

The Chief Minister also made mention of Special Olympics for differently-abled persons and recalled his recent visit to one of their events in Dimapur wherein some of the participants had even participated in international events earlier.

The CM assured that their Association will be affiliated to the NOA and the Government will endeavour to develop proper infrastructure so that sportspersons can avail the facilities.

Rio also assured that the Dr..TAo Award for sportspersons will be reinstated.

Besides this, the CM also reiterated that the various Naga tribes have festivals every month of the year and hence, it was necessary to have Mini Hornbills festivals in collaboration with the respective tribal hohos and fruther said that indigenous recognised tribes of Nagaland like the Kukis, Garos, Kacharis etc will have equal rights, equal opportunities and equal protection.

"There will be no injustice.

We will deliver justice to the people," Rio remarked.

The Chief Minister also expressed his profound appreciation to all the 14 Tribal Hohos which had a meeting with the Political Affairs Committee and the PDA on 11th of May wherein, besides other important resolutions, the house requested the Nagaland Legislative Assembly to reconstitute the Joint Legislators Forum (JLF) in order to strengthen the efforts being made towards the peace process.

Stating that Nagas have to unite so that solution can be inclusive, Rio appealed to all other Naga groups including the NSCN (K) to join the peace process and support solution to the vexed Naga political problem.

The CM assured that the PDA will extend full support to the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), civil societies and NGOs which are working towards the peace process to find an early settlement.

The Chief Minister also took pot-shots at the NPF for crying hoarse over the BJP's choice of the NDPP as its ally and expressed surprise that the NPF party, which had been in alliance with the BJP for the last 15 years, is now branding the BJP as a communal, anti-Christian party.

"No Naga has converted to Hinduism after joining the BJP.

The BJP is not a religious party.

Both the NDPP and the BJP are political parties working tirelessly for the welfare of the people," Rio reiterated and stated that the people should not think that the NPF is a regional party in toto as they (NPF) allied with the Congress (in the 1990s) as well as the BJP (2003-2018) in Nagaland in the past to form the State Government.

Challenging the various party workers of the Alliance to give their best in the next 11 (Eleven) days of campaign, the Chief Minister said that he reposed faith in God and the people and believed that the PDA's consensus candidate will be elected to represent the Nagas in Parliament.

Citing the fact that Tokheho was also from Dimapur, the CM said, "Our candidate is from the grassroots and has vast experience in political life.

He will be able to effectively raise the voice on behalf of the Nagas in Parliament," and appealed to the people to change Nagaland for the better.

Addressing the gathering, PDA consensus candidate Tokheho Yepthomi assured to work hard for the people of Nagaland if elected even though the remaining period of the tenure was just a few months.

He expressed his gratitude to the NDPP and the PDA partners for selecting him as the candidate and sought pardon from the people if he had offended anyone at any time in the past.

Extolling Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for being a proactive Member of Parliament before returning to State politics as per the desire of the people, Tokheho highlighted the importance of electing an MP from the ruling party so that there can be proper and effective coordination between the MP and the State Government for the benefit of the Nagas particularly while relaying the voice of the Naga people in Parliament.

He assured to work tirelessly for the cause of the Nagas and the peace process and abide by the policies of the PDA while discharging his duties as MP, if elected.

Deputy Chief Minister Y.Patton, in his speech, on behalf of the BJP assured that the 12 constituencies from which the BJP Legislators were elected will deliver the lead in favour of the PDA consensus candidate.

Exuding confidence of victory, the Deputy CM challenged the people to elect Tokheho with a thumping majority.

He dismissed allegations that the BJP was a communal party and assured the people that BJP was purely a political party.

Slamming the previous Government's leadership for instability, Patton said, "Under the dynamic leadership of our Hon'ble Chief Minister, we assure you that we will provide a stable Government.

We will bring development as mentioned in the manifestos and Common Minimum Programme" .

Those who spoke at the programme included Jacob Zhimomi, Minister and Convenor, Dimapur District Election Committee of the PDA; Chingwang Konyak, President NDPP; G.Kaito Aye, Minister; Alemtemshi Jamir, Working President, NDPP; Imnatiba, Advisor; Tovihoto Ayemi, Advisor; etc.

The invocation was pronounced by Rev Toshipokba Longkumer while vote of thanks was delivered by Kuputo Shohe, Vice President, BJP Nagaland.

The programme was chaired by Nuzota Swuro, Working President, NDPP.

The programme featured songs presented by Coloured Keys and Pretty Rhythm.

A host of elected Members from the Alliance partner parties attended the programme.

* The sender of this news can be contacted at mediacell(DOT)cmo(DOT)ngl(AT)gmail(DOT)com .

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