UNGMA (MOKOKCHUNG) APR 11 : Chief minister Neiphiu Rio Monday officially kicked off the NPF’s election campaign at Ungma where the party also formally declared Toshipokba as its candidate at the ticket presentation ceremony.
Rio told the party workers and well wishers, that the forthcoming election was not a contest against Dr. S.C Jamir but for the principles of the party’s policies. He reiterated that NPF was not against any party be it Congress, BJP, NCP but that it stood stands firm on its principles and party policies. Explaining about the decision to spread the NPF to other states like Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, Rio said it was for emotional integration of Nagas. He expressed hope that in the future, Nagas as a whole, would have multiple MPs at the centre which could enhance chances of holding ministerial portfolios at the centre. He regretted that at present there was only one MP representing the Nagas and so the lone MP did not have much voice at the centre. He said since DAN government was extending support to UPA, Nagas were being respected at the centre.
The chief minister also harped on the tune of changing political scenario in the country and said that the era of regional politics has taken centre stage at the centre. He said no national party could rule without the support of regional parties and gave a detailed statistics of various coalition regimes in the country.
Calling upon the electorates of Aonglenden, Rio asked the people to be a part of the DAN government and together build the future of the Nagas. He said, for the interest of the Naga people, “We must win.” He reminded the gathering that Mokokchung was earlier a regional strong hold and that regionalism in the state built its foundation at Mokokchung. He was optimistic that regionalism would retake control in Mokokchung. He said there was peace and tranquility when regional party was in power but that there was always misunderstandings when the other party comes to power.
Rio also acknowledged the other two aspirants of NPF ticket besides Toshipokba and said it was a good sign. It may be mentioned that R. Limakumzuk and Imtikumzuk were the other aspirants for NPF ticket. The NPF ticket was awarded to Toshipokba who had also contested the last assembly election in 2008 as NPF candidate but lost in third place. Rio assured that the government would provide the required forces for a free and fair election and urged the people to exercise their democratic rights.
Earlier NPF president, Dr. Shurhozelie administered the oath to the candidate and initiated the presentation of party ticket. He appealed to the electorate to make a decision “on our future.” He said that it was time for all to make a political decision for Nagas adding, “Your vote will decide – make a wise decision.” He also expressed hope that (God willing) DAN government was prepared to take reins for the third time and called upon the people to join them.
To show that the NPF’s power comes from the people, he called up an elderly from the crowd on the dais and made him present the ticket to the candidate.
The program was attended by almost all the DAN cabinet besides NPF party leaders. Short speeches were delivered by home minister Imkong L Imchen, minister(R&B) G. Kaito Aye, minister PHE Dr. Ngangshi K. Ao, Kejung Chang MLA, ticket aspirants Limakumzuk and Imtikumzuk and chairman Ungma VC. The two ticket aspirants said they wholeheartedly support the candidature of Toshipokba. A message from Pangerla,widow of late Nunghsizenba was read out.The program also witnessed the introduction and felicitation of new members who resigned from the Congress and joined NPF.