Senapati: Campaign kickoff program of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) for the ensuing 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections, 2022 was held at Senapati today.
The program was attended by Neiphiu Rio, chief minister, Nagaland, T.R. Zeliang, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) chairman, Dr. Hushka Yepthomi, working president, NPF, Central, Achumbemo Kikon, secretary general, NPF, Central and Samuel Risom, chairman, Election Committee 2022, Manipur were present at the program apart from various NPF leaders and NPF supporters.
Addressing the gathering, Awangbow Newmai, president NPF, Manipur State Unit stated that the last 5 years witnessed peace and progress in the region. He asserted that it is all because the NPF though small in number reached out to each and every community, talked to them heart to heart, understand one another and reasoned with one another so as to make understand and love one another. The NPF leader stated that they have succeeded to some extend, the mission that they had carried out. The main agenda of the NPF is stated to be “Peace” that has lots of meaning and assured to deliver it practically.
Achumbemo Kikon, secretary general, NPF, Central stated that the party received some 40 applications seeking for party tickets but, only 10 assembly constituencies have been selected from Naga dominated areas this ensuing state assembly elections, 2022. The secretary general NPF, Central also extended gratitude to the ECI to have postponed the polling date from Sunday to other working days.
Dr. Hushka Yepthomi, working president NPF, Central stated that NPF came to be introduce into Manipur to preserve the culture, traditions, and religion from extinction. Prior to the introduction of the NPF, Nagas were not recognised by other tribes in Manipur but only after 4 NPF MLAs came to the State assembly in 2012. NPF has brought peace and tranquility in the State and communal understanding in Manipur, he asserted. Rahul Gandhi in his speech in parliament forgot to mention the 8 north eastern states while he is waiting to become the prime minister of India, lamenting, Congress is no more Indian National Congress but Mother, Son and Daughter party. When people of the mainland to not talk of Congress, why should the Nagas talk about them, he challenged. As soon as PM Narendra Modi took over as the prime minister of India, he assured to settle the Naga issue within 18 months but he had served as PM for 8 years and asked where has that 18 months gone as had promised?
The People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) declared that the party will not field any candidate in the coming elections but declared to extend their unconditional support to the NPF.
Also read: No withdrawal on Tuesday at Senapati; 12 candidates go to polls
T.R. Zeliang, chairman, UDA stated that NPF party continues to be one of the longest surviving regional party in the Northeast India and the second oldest regional party in the country. The UDA chairman also appreciates the Manipur state CM for lending support to the NPF. Ever since the inception of the NPF, the party did not believe in arm conflict and has been using the motto as “Fide Non Armis” which is the main reason the NPF stands for Naga political issue to bring peaceful solution through peaceful dialogue to bring lasting peace. When the present age is at crucial stage which is at the verge of signing the final agreement, the UDA chairman stated that patience is running out among people and urged all not to be distracted and waste one’s energy but to focus on finding a solution. NPF is not only a political party but a people’s movement to bring lasting peace in the land. The UDA chairman expressed gladness to witness the proactive steps being taken up by the Govt of India and other civil society organizations.
Recently, the Nagaland Govt has been turned to opposition-less Govt on the need to pave way to bring lasting peace in the land. He asserted that situation in Manipur has improved a lot through the presence of 4 NPF MLAs adding NPF will continue to stand with its motto, “Solution through peaceful dialogue and not through arm conflicts.” While urging the gathering to vote for NPF, the UDA chairman stated that MLAs from the national parties are bound by high command in New Delhi who has no knowledge or lesser knowledge of ground realities while the NPF MLAs can represent in the right spirit.
Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio in his speech stated that he first started his political career from the cock party which was earlier known as United Democratic Party (UDP). While the present Nagaland Govt which is an alliance of the BJP Govt in the Centre, the Nagaland chief minister asserted that they have decided to come together and form an opposition-less Govt in Nagaland to pursue the long protracted Indo-Naga issue. With formation of UDA, T.R. Zeliang is the chairman and had recently inducted one NPF MLA as a cabinet minister. Both NPF and NDPP are an alliance of the BJP Govt in the centre and that the Nagaland CM assured solidarity to the NPF asking all to do the coming elections very well as it means a lot as a regional party. While expressing grief during Ibobi as the CM of Manipur, Rio stated that law and order was at its lowest particularly in the Naga areas due to his ill attitude and approach and that made him call Ibobi, the then CM of Manipur as “Naga enemy number 1.” However, with the coming of the NPF into Manipur, things have changed after Biren Singh became the chief minister of Manipur by gradually improving law and order in the state which he hopes would continue even in future. Nagaland CM also urges to grow as good neighbours which is a process of nation building and to shun violence to bring peace in the land. The CM urged all to unite as Naga and vote consciously as electoral process is the highest court of democracy. With elections fast coming in Nagaland too, CM Neiphiu Rio stated that his priority is stated to be Indo-Naga political issue, to find a solution without facing elections. With so many national groups, extortions and illegal tax, Neiphiu Rio urged to stop creating violence and disharmony which cannot be worked out. He urged the youth to come out with clear and loud voice that people want peace to bring a change in Naga society.
While terming the Indo-Naga political issue, the CM stated that Naga struggle is not a total failure but called a partial success where the Govt of India has recognised the unique Naga history and recognised the issue as political one and negotiation is on political issue platform. Nagaland CM appeals all right thinking Nagas to support the NPF and vote for t he candidates to get with thumbing majority to give mandate to solve Naga political issue.