NPCC vows to fight for Naga political issue, against CAB

NPCC vows to fight for Naga political issue, against CAB
(L) KL Chishi receiving the Congress Lok Sabha ticket from K. Therie and (R) Congress candidate for by-election, Alemjongshi. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, MAR 21 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/21/2019 11:59:18 AM IST

Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has vowed to fight for resolution of the Naga political issue, besides opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

Speaking at a ticket distribution ceremony for the ensuing Lok Sabha election and 26 Aonglenden by-poll at Congress Bhavan here on Thursday, NPCC president K Therie said, given an opportunity, his party would bring a solution to the protracted Naga political issue and urged the Nagas to throw out the party, if it failed.

While KL Chishi was formally handed over party ticket to contest from the State’s lone Lok Sabha seat, Alem Jongshi was given the ticket to contest from the 26 Aonglenden Assembly constituency.  

Admitting that Congress had taken a backseat at one time, Therie warned that RSS and BJP would not provide any solution as their ideology was to bring uniform civil code – “one nation, one law”.

He alleged that BJP did not want any special identity or provision for the Nagas and even wanted to remove Article 371 (A), He added that this was understood only by Congress as its policy was unity in diversity. Therie asserted that Congress Prime Ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi was prepared to give solution by acknowledging the decision of NPCC political affairs committee that emphasised solution through peaceful and constitutional means. He remarked that 21 years of negotiation without solution was not reasonable, and termed this as “deliberate”.

He alleged that BJP took advantage of various issues in the Northeast and wanted to bring more than two crore immigrants by granting them citizenship to finish the tribal people.

Referring to the stand of BJP president Amit Shah to pass CAB in Rajya Sabha, if voted to power, the NPCC president said such statement was an insult to the people of Northeast and regretted that regional parties did not understand the issue. He accused NDPP of selling out Nagas.

To fight the issues, he said Congress had sought support from likeminded parties, adding that he had appealed to NPF and NCP to support its candidate as the two parties’ stand was same over Naga political issue and CAB. He exuded confidence that the two parties would consider his party’s appeal.

Thanking party workers for overcoming various obstacles in the past many years, Therie said the ensuing Lok Sabha poll battle would be between Congress and BJP. 

He asserted that there was no other party with ideology and affirmed to protect secularism.  

Taking a dig at the PDA candidate, he said an MP from regional party hardly gets time to speak in Parliament, adding that even if he sheds tears no one bothers. However, a national party’s MP, whether from opposition or ruling, gets time to speak, he claimed. 

Terming Congress candidate Chishi “seasoned, matured and tested”, he appealed to the electorate to give him a chance to represent the Nagas in the parliament. 

He claimed that his party was leading in Dimapur, Peren and other districts and expressed joy at receiving new members in the party fold.

Referring to the issue of unemployment in Nagaland, Therie remarked that it was mounting and that educated youth saw no hope as government appointments were not based on merit but on corruption and nepotism.

He alleged that the State government did not even bother to bail out the 126 Naga youth locked up in Delhi prison (call centre issue) and acknowledged Nagaland Youth Congress for taking up the matter.

He appealed to the gathering not to think of the past, but to look at the bright future and march ahead together, even as he assured all possible help.

Speaking for more than one hour, Chishi thanked Congress leaders for welcoming him back to the party though he admitted that he never intended to contest the Lok Sabha polls.

He said he felt suffocated while remaining with BJP for one year. He claimed that though he was physically with BJP, his spirit remained with Congress, saying “today I’m honoured to be the party’s candidate”.

Asserting that many former MPs could not deliver on the aspirations of the Nagas, he said the ensuing election would be different as the issue now would be to let the Centre know that Nagas were neglected.

He said current chief minister Neiphiu Rio, who was also an MP, was fed up of sitting in Parliament because he hardly got three minutes to speak and, by the time he finished addressing the dignitaries, he was barely left with a minute and thus could hardly speak.

Chishi said even the current MP, who tried to speak on Naga political issue, was not given time as he belonged to regional party.

He said, if elected, he would take up the Naga political issue and CAB as a top agenda, adding that NDPP succumbed to the pressure of the Centre as defying the Bill would have brought danger to the PDA government.

Mentioning that the absence of the State’s lone member in Parliament on the day of voting over CAB was questionable, Chishi pointed out that even though the MP was absent, he had subscribed his signature.

Besides CAB and Nag political issue, he promised to give priority to unemployment and infrastructure development. 

While appealing to the party workers to work for him, the Congress candidate said he accepted the challenge of contesting to fight communalism.

In his brief address, Congress candidate for Aonglenden by-election Alem Jongshi said his priority, if given an opportunity, would include healthcare, education, infrastructure and economic development and social harmony.

Acknowledging NPCC for allotting him the ticket, Jongshi said Congress in Mokokchung stood tall and exuded confidence to gain more support based on the party’s ideology and principles.

Earlier, the NPCC president formally handed over the party ticket to the two candidates, even as SBC Kohima associate pastor Khekavi Yeptho offered dedicatory prayer to the candidates.

The programme was chaired by NPCC working president Khriedi Theunuo, while captain GK Zhimoni gave the welcome address.  

Meanwhile, Chishi announced that he would file his nomination papers on Friday.


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