Rio seeks public mandate for resolving Naga issue
Source: Chronicle News Service

Senapati, February 16 2022: The election campaign of Naga People's Front (NPF) for the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly Elections, 2022 was kicked off during a programme held at Senapati on Wednesday.

The programme was attended by Neiphiu Rio, chief minister of Nagaland; TR Zeliang, chairman of United Democratic Alliance (UDA); Dr Hushka Yepthomi, working president NPF Central; Achumbemo Kikon, secretary general NPF Central, and Samuel Risom, chairman Election Committee 2022 Manipur, apart from various NPF leaders and supporters.

Neiphiu Rio stated that he first started his political career from the cock party which was earlier known as United Democratic Party (UDP).

Even if the present Nagaland government is in alliance of the BJP at the centre, they decided to come together and form an opposition-less government in Nagaland to pursue the long-protracted Indo-Naga issue, the Nagaland CM said.

With formation of UDA, TR Zeliang is the chairman and had recently inducted 1 NPF MLA as a cabinet minister.

As NPF and NDPP are allies of the BJP at the centre, the Nagaland CM assured solidarity to NPF and asked all to do well in coming elections as it means a lot for a regional party.

Rio went in to say that the law and order situation in Manipur during the time of Ibobi as CM was at its lowest particularly in the Naga areas due to his ill attitude and approach and that made him called Ibobi as "Naga enemy number 1." However, with the coming of NPF in Manipur, things have changed after Biren Singh became the chief minister of Manipur by gradually improving law and order situation in the state which, he hoped, would continue in future.

The Nagaland CM also urged all to grow as good neighbours which is a process of nation building and to shun violence to bring peace in the land.

He urged all to unite as Naga and vote consciously as electoral process is the highest court of democracy.

With elections approaching in Nagaland too, CM Neiphiu Rio stated that his priority is resolving Indo-Naga political issue, to find a solution without facing elections.

Taking serious note of presence of many national groups, extortions and illegal tax, Neiphiu Rio urged to stop creating violence and disharmony.

He also encouraged youth to come out with clear and loud voice that people want peace in Naga society.

On the Indo-Naga political issue, the Nagaland CM further stated that Naga struggle is not a total failure but called it a partial success as the government of India has recognised the unique Naga history and recognised the issue as political one and negotiation is ongoing on at political level.

The CM then appealed to all right thinking Nagas to support the NPF and vote for the party candidates for a thumbing majority to give mandate to resolving Naga political issue.

Addressing the gathering, Awangbow Newmai, president NPF Manipur State Unit, stated that the last 5 years witnessed peace and progress in the region.

He asserted that it is all because, NPF though small in number, reached out to each and every community, talked to them heart to heart and reasoned with one another so as to make the people understand and love one another.

The NPF leader stated that they have succeeded in carrying out the mission they set at least to some extent.

The main agenda of the NPF is "Peace" and it has lots of meaning, he said, while assuring of delivering it practically.

Achumbemo Kikon stated that the party received some 40 applications for party ticket but, only 10 assembly constituencies have been selected from Naga dominated areas for the assembly elections, 2022.In his address, Dr Hushka Yepthomi stated that NPF was introduced in Manipur, to promote the culture, traditions and religion of Nagas from extinction.

Prior to the introduction of NPF, Nagas were not recognised by other tribes in Manipur until 4 NPF MLAs got elected to the state assembly in 2012.Rahul Gandhi, in his speech in parliament, forgot to mention the 8 north eastern states.

Congress is no more Indian National Congress but mother, son and daughter party.

When people of the mainland do not talk about Congress, why should the Nagas talk about them, he challenged.

As soon as Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India, he assured of settling the Naga issue within 18 months but he has served as PM for 8 years, Dr Hushka Yepthomi pointed out, while asking where has that 18 months gone as he had promised The People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) declared that the party will not field any candidate in the coming elections but declared to extend their unconditional support to NPF.

According to TR Zeliang, NPF continues to be one of the longest surviving regional parties in the NE and the second oldest in the country.

The UDA chairman also appreciated the Manipur CM for lending support to NPF.

Ever since the inception of the NPF, the party does not believe in armed conflict and has been using the motto "Fide Non Armis' which is the main reason why NPF stands for peaceful resolution of Naga political issue through peaceful dialogue for bringing lasting peace.

The present age is at a crucial stage as the Naga political talk is on the verge of signing the final agreement, the UDA chairman said, while adding that patience is running out among people and urged all not to be distracted and waste one's energy but to focus on finding a solution.

NPF is not only a political party but a people's movement to bring lasting peace in the land, he said.

Recently, the Nagaland government was turned into opposition-less government in due consideration of the need to pave way for bringing lasting peace in the land, he said and contended that situation in Manipur has improved a lot through the presence of 4 NPF MLAs.

While urging the gathering to vote for NPF, the UDA chairman stated that MLAs from the national parties are bound by high command in New Delhi who has no knowledge or lesser knowledge of ground realities while the NPF MLAs can represent in the right spirit.

The NPF candidates in fray for the assembly elections are Langhu Paulhring Anal (Chandel), Dangsawa Korungthang Maring (Tengnoupal), Leishiyo Keishing (Phungyar), Ram Muivah (Ukhrul), Khashim Vashum (Chingai), Khaho Siile Antony (Karong), Losii Dikho (Mao), M Francis Ngajokpa (Tadubij, Awangbow Newmai (Tamei) and Khangthuanang Panmei (Tamenglong) .

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