State

Rio taunts NPF ‘visionless policies’

Rio taunts NPF ‘visionless policies’
Neiphiu Rio with PDA leaders at the launching of the Lok Sabha poll campaign at DDSC stadium. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, MAR 19 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/19/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

Ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) chief minister Neiphiu Rio formally launched the coalition’s 2019 parliamentary electoral campaign at the DDSC stadium here Tuesday. Launching the PDA campaign for the lone Lok Sabha seat for Nagaland PDA chief minister and star campaigner, Neiphiu Rio, hit out at the opposition NPF for “visionless policies and unstable leadership”.

 Rio took a jab at the NPF for failing to field its own candidate and added that the party was rather even ready to “borrow” a candidate. He claimed that NPF’s indecision was because of infighting among its leaders; where some wanted to set up a party candidate while others were in favour of supporting the Congress candidate.

Rio said the NPF has shown that despite having 26 MLAs it does not have a candidate for Lok Sabha since none of its MLAs or leaders were willing to contest.  “Nobody wants NPF ticket. So their option is to distribute tickets on the roadside and field someone who will take their party ticket,” mocked Rio.

Rio said it would be “disgraceful” for NPF which has 26 MLAs if they decide to support a candidate of another party (Congress) which does not have any MLA. He described NPF party a “confused party” and urged people not to waste their time on NPF but instead re-elect PDA consensus candidate and sitting MP, Tokheho Yepthomi.

Referring to PDA candidate Tokheho’s speech made earlier, that only the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre can settle the Naga political issue, the chief minister said “only a strong party like BJP with a strong leader, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi”, will be able to settle the decade-long issue.

He pointed out that NDA-I under then Prime Minister, late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, recognized the “Uniqueness of Naga history”; while NDA-II under Modi signed the historic , Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015.

On the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 (CAB), Rio accused NPF of misleading the people. Instead, he questioned NPF as to why it boycotted the January 31, 2018 meeting of the tribal Hohos, civil society organizations and all political parties if it was serious about the issue?. 

He also questioned the vision of NPF leaders for choosing to walk out of the NLA session when a resolution was to be passed against the Bill. “What is their vision? How can they protect the Nagas and people of Nagaland when they keep running away?” asked Rio.

The chief minister then said that whether CAB was passed in the parliament or not, PDA government was “very clear and firm that Article 371 (A) can protect the Nagas and people who are in Nagaland”. 

Exuding confidence that BJP-led NDA under the leadership of Narendra Modi would again form the government at the Centre, Rio called upon the people of Nagaland to continue to support the PDA government.

He said in the next four years, the PDA government will remain committed to bring more change for the youth, farmers and entrepreneurs. Rio also exuded hope that Naga political issue would be settled in next few years and peace, development and progress would prevail in the state.

Earlier, sitting Lok Sabha MP and PDA consensus candidate, Tokheho Yepthomi, urged the people of Nagaland to support BJP-led NDA government at the Centre if Nagas want settlement to the decades old Naga political issue.

Tokheho, a former Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader, claimed that the Naga political talk did not make any significant progress during 2004-2013 under Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

 He said the ongoing talks resulted in significant progress under the leadership of Narendra Modi. Tokheho pointed out that the Modi government signed the Framework agreement with the NSCN/GPRN on August 3, 2015, within a year of forming the government at the Centre.

He also pointed out that the Parliament Standing Committee, including all political parties, was formed under Modi government to assess the ongoing Naga political talk.

Tokheho said the committee tabled a report in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha mentioning that Naga negotiation was at an advanced stage and therefore, recommended that Naga political issue be settled at the earliest.

He also asked Nagas whether they really wanted a settlement or to let the Naga issue be used as political agenda by different political groups during assembly and parliamentary elections?.

“If Nagas wants settlement then NDA should form the government at the Centre,” said Tokheho.

He also clarified his position over the CAB and also said it has lapsed and so that there was no need for the opposition to dig up a dead issue. “I wonder whether they are raking up the issue and whether they know the technicalities or not,” said Tokheho. 

Deputy chief minister and BJP’s legislature party leader, Y Patton, urged the people not to be misled by false propagandas and rumours about crisis within the alliance party.

Unlike the opposition party (NPF), Patton said PDA enjoyed stable government and strong leadership and that the alliance would continue to protect the interests and welfare of the people of Nagaland. 

Patton also thanked the religious leaders, church and public for not heeding to opposition’s propaganda that BJP was anti-Christian and urged all to continue their support for all-round development. 

He took a jibe at the previous NPF-led DAN-III government for its inability to provide stable government due to crisis within the party.

In a lighter vein, Patton said the last government could not bring any development as they (including him) were busy watching animals and birds at a holiday resort. 

NDPP president and chairman PDA, Chingwang Konyak, reiterated the PDA government’s commitment for a strong and stable government for progressive Nagaland.

“We are giving stability and progressive leadership. Change is bound to come and people are already witnessing significant change in the last one year of our governance,” said Konyak.

Konyak said people of Nagaland should work closely with the ruling government at the state and at the Centre, for the state to progress. He then urged all to extend support to PDA consensus candidate.

Minister of Agriculture, G Kaito Aye, claimed that there has been visible development in the state within one year of PDA government. He said public and government should “journey together” to fulfil the development promises made by the government.

Kaito, the lone JD (U) legislator, said his party would always stand for the interest of Naga people and that it would continue to work for early solution to Naga political issue.

He urged the people to support BJP-led NDA government at the Centre by voting for the PDA consensus candidate in the interest of development and progress of Nagaland. 

Advisor, Industries and Commerce and NIDC, Imnatiba, asserted that God answered the prayers of people of Nagaland for stable and strong government through the PDA government.

 He also called upon the people to support PDA consensus candidate in the ensuing Parliamentary polls.

The launching programme attended by several hundred party supporters, was chaired by NDPP, working president, Alemtemshi Jamir, while opening prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, welcome address by minister Jacob Zhimomi, welcome song by Naga Choir, special song by Lu Keva and vote of thanks by advisor, Tovihoto Ayemi.

Earlier, the chief minister also informed that PDA consensus candidate for by-election to 26-Aonglenden A/C, Sharingain Longkumer would file his nomination on March 22 and simultaneously the party would launch its campaign on the same day in Mokokchung.

Former chief minister and Congress candidate, K.L Chishi is the other contender for the lone Lok Sabha seat, currently held by PDA consensus candidate, Tokheho Yepthomi, while the opposition NPF party was yet to announce its candidate for the ensuing Parliamentary polls.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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