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Secular regime should be given chance: Supongmeren Jamir


Backed by the RSS, the Modi-led government at the Centre is suppressing all the rights of the citizens and also trying to change the preamble of the Indian Constitution, said Congress candidate for Nagaland LS seat

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

The ensuing 18th Lok Sabha elections slated for April 19 in Nagaland will witness a head-to-head contest as two senior political leaders of the State are vying for the lone parliamentary seat.

The Congress has fielded its State unit president and former MLA Supongmeren Jamir to take on People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA)’s consensus candidate Dr Chumben Murry in the race. Dr Chumben Murry, who is supported by the BJP, has the distinction of being actively involved in different social activities, since his voluntary retirement to contest in the 11th NLA election in 2008 from 38 Wokha A/C on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket.

In an exclusive conversation with this correspondent, the Congress nominee Supongmeren Jamir said a “secular” regime should be given a chance and emphasised that the country has upheld “peace, democracy, secularism, social justice and equality” since its Independence, which according to him is the core of the constitution.

Backed by the RSS, the Modi-led government at the Centre is suppressing all the rights of the citizens and also trying to change the preamble of the Indian Constitution, he said. The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) is against the “hidden agendas” of the present government’s policies which is also backed by the RSS in particular, he added.

Sharing his objectives, Congress candidate Supongmeren Jamir, who had served as a member of the NLA after winning from his constituency, Mongoya A/C under Mokokchung district (2002-2008), expressed his unwavering commitment to serving the Naga people.

Stating that it has been almost a year since he took over the chair of the NPCC, Supongmeren extended his gratitude towards the ranks and files of NPCC and high commands of the AICC for confidently reposing the faith on him to carry on the responsibilities towards executing the many challenges being encountered and yet to face.

A veteran supporting the Congress since 1982, Supongmeren also highlighted the principles of the party’s ideology which included dedication towards serving the common people in his capacity.

On the relations between the government of India (GoI) and the Nagas, Supongmeren stated that a “mandate” was given to the 60 elected members of the NLA to change the policy (s). The same has to be raised and he is ready to represent the Naga people or the state in the parliament to carry the sentiments of the Nagas, he said. It is the “best opportunity” to transmit a message to the Indian government that Nagas are also in a position to stand, and are not easy to “pullback” any policy (s), he added.

“When the state government comprising the 60 MLAs on whom the Nagas have given a mandate, they also have a role to play but the government imposing certain terms into the state on many issues is a matter of a serious concern which needed to be addressed”, said Supongmeren Jamir. The Congress in the state is “out of power” for almost two decades with not a single MLA in the present NLA, he added.

Feeding on the ground realities which according to the NPCC chief has a very “challenging task”, he mentioned that all the policies “impersonal” by the government of India (GoI) to the state government being an alliance with the NDA government at the centre, unfortunately, the PDA are not in a position to carry and to voice against the BJP led government at the centre.


Naga Political Issue

On queried about the prolonged Naga political issue, Supongmeren affirmed that if the Naga people give their confidence or mandate, the Congress at the centre, aware of the Naga political issues since the signing of the 2015, and 2017 agreements would be fair enough to coming to a term which he said he is particularly serious about it.

On the ENPO’s issue, Supongmeren said that it has come as a “blow” when the talk was going on between the government of India (GoI) and the NSCN (IM), and the NNPGs.

Stating that the Congress will always have a solution with the “agreed solution” based on the demands made by the NNPGs, Supongmeren said that once the solution is being taken up, the Congress will always stand with the people.

He also said that the Nagas are “sentimentally” attached to the Congress as it was the party to have initiated the peace talks. While he is aware of the issue, he will try to create a platform for a prospective vision in bringing a solution to the protracted Naga political issue, he added.


Projected issues to be maintained in right ways

Supongmeren Jamir said that if he was given an opportunity as the “voice” for the people, the various projected issues which hamper the development of the state would be taken up in the Parliament,

He will be the right person to see that all the projected issues are in the right way knowing that the Congress would be able to penetrate against the national policies of the BJP-led government at the centre and being backed by the RSS, he added.

He appealed to the people of Nagaland that irrespective of any party lines, they should come forward and stand by the “common front”.

Criticising some of the village councils which have issued directives to vote for a particular candidate, Supongmeren said his candidature for the Lok Sabha is to represent the state and its people to raise their voices and also to safeguard the tradition and customs of the Nagas. He alleged that the BJP-RSS government at the centre is trying to destroy the very fabric of Naga traditions.

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