Congress Candidate For Nagaland’s Lone Lok Sabha Seat Kicks Off Campaign - Eastern Mirror
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Congress candidate for Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha seat kicks off campaign

By Imrongkumba Aier Updated: Apr 06, 2024 6:51 pm
S Supongmeren Jamir with Congress workers after the campaign kickoff programme at Town Hall in Mokokchung on Saturday.

MOKOKCHUNG — The upcoming Lok Sabha election will be fought on the grounds of faith and ideology; it is also a trial for the people of the state, said S Supongmeren Jamir, Congress candidate for the state’s lone parliamentary seat, during his election campaign kickoff ceremony at Town Hall in Mokokchung on Saturday.

‘The polling day (April 19) will decide whether Naga people still stand for Nagaland for Christ and how deeply we have embraced our faith,’ he said.

Jamir, who is also the president of Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC), has been pitted against People’s Democratic Alliance’s consensus candidate Dr. Chumben Murry and Independent candidate Hayithung Tungoe Lotha for the 18th Lok Sabha poll which will held in the state on April 19.

He slammed Himanta Biswa Sarma-led BJP government in Assam for allegedly targeting the Christians and other minorities by introducing a legislation prohibiting healing practices.

Supongmeren Jamir addressing the gathering during the campaign kickoff programme at Town Hall in Mokokchung on Saturday.

Christian prayer is a legitimate, universal spiritual practice and not an unethical tool for conversion but the Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024 penalises Christians who offer prayer or healing service, he said while recalling the declaration of religious holidays (read Good Friday and Easter Sunday) as working days in Manipur recently, which was retracted later following criticisms.

In this regard, he said the MLAs of Nagaland should come forward and tell the people to vote freely, but supporting the RSS backed BJP would mean to discard one’s faith, traditions and customs.

He also wondered why Nagaland government could not when Mizoram government could appeal to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to differ the vote counting day from Sunday to Monday in the assembly election (bye-election for Nagaland) held last year. “We don’t feel the pinch now but we are sinking our status,” he said.

Claiming that Congress is fighting to safeguard religious freedom, he said it is the bounden duty of everyone to bring back secularism to the rightful track.

He also appealed to the electorate, village councils and ward authorities to ensure a fair and clean election, while informing that the Supreme Court of India has agreed to list petitions seeking direction to the ECI to mandatorily cross-verify the electronic voting machines (EVM) data against voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) records.

If people give their mandate, the Congress plans to implement various schemes and policies for the uplift of the people, including implementation of INR 1 lakh every year per woman living below poverty line (BPL)., 50 per cent job reservation for women both in the Centre and the state, enhancement of Anganwadi workers’ salaries and 300,00 job creation in India (approx. share of Nagaland is  1114), Jamir said.

If voted to power, he went on to say that the Congress would earmark INR 5000 crore for education and promotion of entrepreneurship, which will be distributed to all states; initiate health insurance and pension schemes for taxi drivers and online delivery employees; revival of old pension scheme as well as revival of old ration instead of ration money for the security personnel.

Former MLA Toshipokba, NPCC Mokokchung In-charge S Moa Imchen, Co-Chairman of NPCC Public Grievances Department Meshenlo Kath and, NPCC Secretary Imkongmeren Jamir also spoke at the event.

By Imrongkumba Aier Updated: Apr 06, 2024 6:51:32 pm
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