Governor douses hope of ‘solution before election’
Acharya’s Republic Day speech suggests formation of new Nagaland government ‘in few weeks from now’
Kohima, Jan. 26 (EMN): Despite repeated appeals by various Naga organisations to the Election Commission of India to withhold the assembly elections in Nagaland, the state’s governor, PB Acharya, has hinted at the possibility of conducting the elections before ‘solution’ to the Indo-Naga political issue.
“Nagaland today stands at the cusp of history. Shortly, we will be having the elections to the state assembly. I hope that in a few weeks from now, we would have elected a government that will ensure that the aspirations of citizens are met for a better tomorrow,” Acharya said in his address to the 69th Republic Day celebrations at the Nagaland Secretariat Plaza, in Kohima on Jan. 26.
Acharya made a sincere appeal to the political parties and the people in general to maintain peace, dignity, and decorum during poll campaigns to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of the elections.
Saying that the ECI had made elaborate arrangements for smooth elections, Acharya called for the active support and cooperation of all citizens in the state to ensure that the elections are conducted peacefully.
In expressing his delight that the Nagaland churches, and the Civil Society had come up with “clean election” campaigns, Acharya advised all those engaged in election duty to discharge their duties with diligence and dedication, without fear or favour; ensure that all eligible voters exercise their right to vote.
“Let us resolve to abjure all kinds of corruption and electoral malpractices and make the forthcoming elections the cleanest elections,” he said.
Mentioning that the desire of the Naga people was a final settlement to the Naga political issue, Governor Acharya noted that the 20 years of negotiations with the NSCN (IM) and signing of the ‘framework agreement’ in August 2015 had given hope to the people of Nagaland that solution to the Naga issue ‘is not far.’
“The joining of the six NNPGs in peace talks further bolsters this hope. This, therefore, is considered to be the most opportune time for the Naga political groups to resolve the seven decades-old Naga political issue once and for all,” Acharya said. He lauded the efforts of the tribe ‘hohos’ and apex bodies; the church, and the Civil Society for bringing the various Naga political factions together to a common platform.
On the day, the governor lauded also Nagaland state for being a partner in the development and progress of the nation since its creation in 1963, and for ‘making progress’ in the march ‘toward development’ during the past 55 years.
“Today, the overarching desire of the people of the state is for peace and development. We have a youthful population eagerly looking for opportunities to grow and to prosper. The youth of Nagaland are the pride of the country. We must take our due part in the rapidly growing economy of our nation and realize the aspirations of a developed and vibrant Nagaland,” Acharya asserted.
“Spirited Naga boys and girls are making the nation proud with their accomplishments in the field of music, fashion, craft and social work,” he said. He urged for introspection and think ‘as to what more can be done to ensure that the youth realize their true potential.’
On connectivity, the governor expressed hope that road connectivity—along with rail connectivity for Kohima—and improved air connectivity would transform the state.
“Infrastructure development and connectivity is critical for helping Nagaland catch up with mainland states in terms of economic development. Connectivity within the state as also with other states of the North East will help create opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses,” Acharya said.
Acharya stressed also on timely completion of development projects with the reminder that creation of a ‘congenial atmosphere’ was a prerequisite.
The governor talked also about the potential Nagaland has in becoming an attractive tourist destination by offering a unique blend of heritage and culture to travellers in search of nature, music and culture. Along with eco-tourism, he said, there is also a great opportunity for adventure tourism.
“With an objective to provide a better quality of life for ourselves and future generations, we need to come together to address the challenges facing us and make the most of the opportunities available for us,” Acharya said.
“On a day such as this, when we celebrate the anniversary of coming into force of our constitution that laid the foundations of a democratic republic, let us rededicate ourselves to the principles of democracy and let us strive to seek solutions to our problems through peaceful means,” he added.
The governor, upon his arrival, took salute and inspected the parade. The 24 parade contingents were led Vesupra Kezo, deputy commandant of the 10th NAP (IR) as the commander; Yambemo Humtsoe, assistant commandant of the 4th NAP, the 2nd in-charge.
Cultural performances were given by cultural troupes from the Angami, Rengma, Lotha and Khiamniungan tribes. The Fire and Emergency Services staged a drill during the day’s event.