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CM Chang, Azo comment on ENPO demand
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR/CHESSORE, JAN 12 (NPN):
Published on 13 Jan. 2011 12:54 AM IST
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Can’t say if ENPO’s demand is justified -CM Chang-
MP Lok Sabha CM Chang on Wednesday said he was not in the position to comment on the demand of Eastern Naga People’s Organisation (ENPO) for separate state for eastern Nagas since he had not seen ENPO’s representation which was submitted to the prime minister.
Affirming that he was not representing the ENPO but the state government in general, Chang said “I have no comment on ENPO issue”.
Chang was addressing media persons at the sidelines of the “Puanglüm 2011” festival of Chang community in Dimapur.
He said that members of ENPO approached him on December 5 when he was in Delhi informing him of the representation to be submitted to the prime minister. “Since the representation was not shown to me I cannot tell them to stop or go ahead with the demand…and since I do not know the details I can’t say if ENPO’s demand is justified” Chang affirmed.
Asked if he knew the reason behind ENPO’s demand for separate state, Chang replied that since the six tribes of eastern Nagaland had been tagged as “backward” for so long and there are less representation of people in government department from eastern Nagaland, therefore people of eastern Nagaland were very late in catching up with civilization.
He pointed out that the government had been doing so many things to uplift the six tribes of eastern Nagaland through Development of Under Developed Areas (DUDA).
He said DUDA was the biggest achievement by the government under which so many facilities were provided to the people and that the people of the eastern Nagaland were very much satisfied. “Government is doing very well to develop the places through the DUDA,” Chang said.
Appeals ENPO to forgive any misgivings
Referring to the statehood demand made by the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO), minister for health and family welfare, Kuzholuzo Nienu (Azo) said Nagas were going through a ‘painful period’ and made a fervent appeal to the Eastern Nagas to forgive any misgivings on the part of the government and remain with the Nagas.
“We love and care for you (Eastern Nagas) … so it is my sincere request to the ENPO not to part ways with us but to strengthen the brotherhood between us. If at any point of time, if we have hurt your feelings or discriminated you, do forgive us,” Azo said at the inaugural programme of the 45th Yimchungru Akheru Arihako (YAA) general session cum Chessore Village Students’ Union (CVSU) golden jubilee at Chessore village on Wednesday.
The chief guest said that the government would take corrective measures for the things that went wrong earlier. Nagas have remained as one since times immemorial and should therefore see that nothing separates them and stand united, he said.
Azo felt that the demand for “Frontier Nagaland” was the handiwork of the government of India playing hard to divide the Nagas. He said that the Naga political issue has reached a stage where the government of India would be compelled to give some decision on it. In order to prolong its decision and drag on the Naga issue, he said the government of India was playing dilly-dallying tactics and cautioned the Naga populace against falling into such traps.
Azo said if separate state was created as demanded, then the question of sovereignty would not arise anymore but push those 40-50 years of Naga struggle down the drain rendering it meaningless.
Geographically speaking, even Phek falls under Eastern Naga territory, the minister said but added that the Phek people were for the unity of the Nagas.
Dwelling on the ‘backward’ tag, Azo said, in the past, people remained backward out of compulsion as there were no schools, no road connectivity, lack of infrastructure, basic amenities and development. He, however, said that at present, in spite of all the numerous facilities, infrastructure, educational institutions etc, if people still remained backward then they were ‘backward by choice.’ “We should no longer remain backward by choice. We should struggle, be sincere and committed, then only we can come at par with the rest,” Azo said.
He said the Yimchungrus were no more backward as far as organizing things were concerned. The minister made the comment after observing the way things were being handled and organized for the general session cum golden jubilee celebration. Azo told the Yimchungrus that they were already moving forward in terms of education pointing to the 45 years of YAA which he said spoke volumes of its maturity. He expressed hope that the twin programme would be a turning point for the students.
Responding to a speech delivered by the YAA president airing grievances faced by the Chessore village in health sector and the need for a sub-centre, Azo said under the NRHM programme 50 sub-centres could be established in a year and that he would try to fulfill the needs of the village. The health minister however, said that in order to get a sub-centre, a village should be a recognized and notified village. He assured to give equal share to every district, sub-division and region under the NRHM programme.
Earlier, Azo unveiled a monolith erected in honour and memoriam of 115 surrendered underground pioneers in the formation of Nagaland Armed Police led by SS Brigadier K. M. Caming Yimchunger. He also unveiled a monolith of the CVSU golden jubilee.
Guest of honour for the programme, parliamentary secretary CAWD, T. Torechu said since the Yimchungrus were also Nagas, they should remain united with the rest of the Nagas. He exhorted the students to put sincere efforts and concentration in their studies and bring positive changes to the society.
Parliamentary secretary for IPR, economics and statistics, Tohanba was also present.
A host of district administration officials, village elders, student leaders and well-wishers attended the programme. Special numbers were also presented by Shamator Village Students’ Union, Yimchungru Students’ Union Kohima and others.

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