DAN coalition Friday launched its poll campaign for forthcoming Parliamentary elections at a grand election rally in Mon town which was attended by DAN ‘heavyweights’ led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and NPF President Dr. Shürhozelie in the headquarters of one the biggest districts of the state.
Hailing the candidature of CM Chang, DAN consensus candidate, who is contesting the lone seat from Nagaland on an NPF ticket, the Chief Minister made an appeal to the electorate of the state to come forward and vote for DAN candidate. He said that through a regional party like NPF, identity of Nagas would be preserved and protected. Rio said that NPF was working for all Nagas and not just the Nagas of Nagaland and the DAN Government has already taken up with government of India the issue of protecting and rescuing the plight of eastern Nagas who are in Myanmar and have no political rights living under social and economic backwardness.
Rio wondered how the Congress leaders were promising that they would bring solution to the Naga political problem when in more than 50 years of Congress rule in the country the Naga political imbroglio could not find any permanent solution. He questioned how the people would believe the Congress when they have failed to bring solution in more than 50 years of Congress rule in the country. Rio reminded that in the recently held Naga Consultative Meet, all sections of both the undergrounds and overgrounds had participated whereas the Congress boycotted the meet after taking a decision in Delhi.
Rio made it clear that an NPF MP in parliament would be extended all privileges and opportunities like any other political party since the NPF is a recognised political party and is listed in the political parties who find representation in parliament. Clarifying the Congress charges that an NPF MP would fall under the bracket of “unattached MPs”, Rio said that NPF MP would be given the opportunity to participate in all discussions and debates and be invited to all-party-meets and also to all meetings of the chief whips. He further said that a Congress MP from Nagaland would have to strictly tow the party line and only speak within party’s policies if at all he get the chance to speak ahead of `dozens of MPs who were much more senior.
Rio observed that NPF tally would rise to 30 if the party won in the four assembly by- elections but added that DAN coalition would remain absolutely intact. He said that it was not the NPF’s policy to leave behind its allies but rather he appreciated the role of alliance partners in strengthening DAN and said that they would always go hand in hand even though NPF numbers might rise. He reminded that even in the last term, NPF had not sidelined its alliance partners despite crossing the halfway mark.
A host of DAN leaders including party leaders of the DAN were present in the launch of the campaign. Speeches were delivered by Limatemjen, president of the JD (U), MC Konyal, BJP Legislature Party leader, deputy speaker Ralanthang and Neiba Ndang of the NCP.