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Naga unity is the need of the hour, says Nagaland CM Rio as he kick-starts NPF poll campaign in Manipur


“The concept of forming an opposition-less government in Nagaland is based on the necessity to facilitate a peaceful solution to the Naga political issue because we deserve lasting peace in our land”, said former Nagaland chief minister and NPF leader TR Zeliang.

By Solomon Sha, TFM Senapati Representative

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday said that the unity of the Nagas is the need of the hour and pointed out that Nagas should come together as one using a political platform like the Naga People’s Front (NPF) so as to help resolve the protracted Naga issue.

Rio made this statement while addressing the mammoth gathering during NPF Manipur state unit campaign kickoff for the ensuing 12th Manipur legislative assembly election 2022 held at Senapati HQ on Wednesday.

The Nagaland chief minister who is also leader of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Nagaland, said he came to Senapati, Manipur to take part in the NPF poll campaign kickoff programme.

Rio asserted that United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in Nagaland was formed as an opposition–less government in the state to pursue and settle the Naga political issue. He also recalled the bitter experience with the Congress government in Manipur 2011 when NPF faced hurdles while trying to launch the party in the state.

The Nagaland chief minister however he said with Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh leading the BJP led government, the situation has improved for the NPF. Rio exuded confidence that the “good relationship between the neighbors and the people would continue”. He encouraged adopting non-violence policy while continuing to negotiate on with any issue related to the Nagas.

On Naga political issue, Rio said there is no reason why an agreement cannot be signed. He appealed the Naga people in Manipur to vote for NPF to resolve the Naga political issue and move forward.

Rio also lamented the fact that there were just 20 Assembly seats in the hill areas and 40 seats in the valley region of Manipur. He said, “Once the Naga political issue is resolved, there will be increased in the number of seats for Nagas in the state assemblies and even the parliament”.

Former chief minister and chairman of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) TR Zeliang in his address highlighted the background of the NPF and stated that the party was formed for the welfare of the Naga people under the leadership of A Kevichusa on October 21 1963 when the then interim government which was in place following the signing of 16 points agreement in July 1960. He also narrated how the nomenclature of NPF party was changed over the years and reminded that since its inception, the party did not believe its ‘armed conflict” and abided by its motto “Fide Non armies”. Zeliang said that the NPF truly stands for Naga political solution through peaceful dialogues.

“At this crucial juncture when Indo-Naga peace talks are at the verge of a final breakthrough, it is important for all of us to stand together as a single entity and we cannot afford to speak in different voices after 24 years of political dialogue”, stated Zeliang.

Urging the people to support NPF, Zeliang reminded that “NPF is not only a political party but it is a people’s movement toward solution for permanent peace in our land and the Northeast region in general”. He said the NPF party has been playing an instrumental role as an active facilitator and had vigorously pursued with the government of India for early settlement of the Naga political problem.

“The concept of forming an opposition-less government in Nagaland is based on the necessity to facilitate a peaceful solution to the Naga political issue because we deserve lasting peace in our land”, said Zeliang. He urged the gathering to choose regional parties like NPF to work for the welfare of the people.

He appealed to the Naga people of Manipur to vote for NPF to work for the cause of Naga people and to bring about peace, prosperity, social harmony, socio-economic and political balance.

Working president NPF central Huskha Yepthomi in his address urged the gathering and Naga people to vote for NPF to protect Naga identity and culture. He said NPF has good relationship and living peacefully with every community in Manipur.

President NPF Manipur state unit Awangbow Newmai in his welcome address said that NPF party stands for everyone who desire living in peace with open minds. He said that in the last five years, NPF has promoted peace and brought about development in the state while building good relationship with everyone.

Programme was presided by president NPF Ukhrul dividion Wungnaoshang A Shimray while invocation prayer was led by Reverend DL Sapuni director Paomata Baptist churches council. The introduction of the 10 NPF candidates was done by secretary general NPF central Kohima Achumbemo Kikon. Special song was presented by LT Damaris while vote of thanks was proposed by Samuel Risom chairman election committee 2022 Manipur and benediction prayer was led by M Pfokreni, pastor MBCA Mao Taphou.

The programme was attended by agriculture minister Nagaland G Kaito, forest minister Nagaland  Yollow, NPF MLAs, NDPP MLAs and advisors from Nagaland, MLA and ministers from Manipur, party workers and supporters from all the Naga districts of Manipur and others.


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