Our promise of ‘change’ is here – Rio
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, April 7: An early solution to the Indo-Naga political issue occupies the spot of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party’s (NDPP) priority list, according to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
While addressing an NDPP thanksgiving programme at Niathu Resort in Dimapur on Saturday, Rio expressed hope of ‘resolving this issue during our time’.
“There is a hope for the Indo-Naga political issue because the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed the framework agreement which gives us hope that there is solution; and we promise we will be playing active role to facilitate and bring early solution,” Rio shared.
The chief minister told the party members to monitor developmental activities in their respective areas, particularly on road sector even as the Nagaland government has sanctioned INR. 50 cr. for repair works. Rio suggested that the party workers could write to him or any of the party leaders in the event of the members coming across any problem.
The chief minister announced that the government will be distributing ‘three years balance to the farmers’ including the Village Development Board (VDB) grant and the Matching Cash grant. Also, the state government will be calling an all-Nagaland conference of VDBs and village councils on April 24 in Kohima.
According to Rio, funds meant for the VDBs and village councils will be ‘distributed directly’ to the beneficiaries on the day. “We have special programmes for the farmers to uplift their economy and we are committed to village development and this fund should be utilised judiciously for village development”.
Recalling the difficulty faced by the NDPP prior to the elections, Rio reminded the NDPP members that the BJP had been ‘kind enough to believe in the NDPP and its visions’.
“All the NDPP candidates were promising but we could win only 18 seats which did not reach our expectation while the BJP won 12 seats which was above expectation, and they did extremely well. We complement each other and both the parties should share the credit and we are grateful to the BJP,” Rio said.
He shared that party intends to send its leaders to all parts of the state and ‘make a case study’ for every constituency. Conversely this would offer an opportunity for the party leaders to ‘analyse’ their respective performances as representatives of the people.
“Our slogan was ‘change is coming’ (pre-elections) and now it has become ‘change is here’. We, together, will bring the change and this is our promise to the people,” Rio said. He shared that the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) common minimum programme will be released within a few days.
The president of NDPP, Chingwang Konyak said that the party’s door was “open for all other party workers who have wandered to other party for personal reasons”. He encouraged the party members to deliver on the promises of its manifesto.
Secretary General of NDPP, Abu Mehta lauded Chingwang Konyak for “having the energy” and for providing the motivation for the members of the party. While also acknowledging the tireless efforts of the party members, Metha reminded the gathering about the many challenges the party had faced in the past months. “We have faced many challenges and hurdles, but with the efforts of everyone, we have been motivated to overcome them,” he said.
Also, Metha thanked the chief minister ‘for carrying the burden of not just the party but also the candidates and the alliance as a whole’.
“He powered the campaign. Neiphiu Rio was the engine behind the campaign and for that we give our deep appreciation,” he said while stating that it was only on January 17 that Rio had joined the party.
“We congratulate you and wish you a successful tenure, every member of the party, men and women, with their prayers and blessings are with you. Be brave, we are behind you as we collectively work for our common endeavour of serving the Naga people,” he shared.
While speaking about the seat sharing arrangement between the NDPP and BJP, Mehta asserted that the alliance enjoys the mandate of the people. In conclusion, he reaffirmed that the party reflects the “aspiration and ambition” of the people.
Alemtemshi Jamir, former chief secretary of Nagaland and also a candidate in the 2018 assembly elections of Nagaland, shared about the goal of the party.
“The NDPP party has come to power to fulfil the destiny of the people and the party has the basic principles outlined,” he said adding that the party aims to bring transparency accountability and a responsive government for the people.
Comparing the birth of a child after 9 months, he pointed out that the NDPP also was conceived after 9 months but the difference being that the party was already a “full fledged adult”.
“It is a miracle that we have come to power in such a short period of time,” he said. “A lot of responsibilities will be shouldered by the party. It is not a bed of roses we will be facing, we will be facing a lot of problems, a lot of oppositions…we should also realise we have a strong opposition, and we must build Nagaland from almost of a scratch it is in today.”
While congratulating the winners of the assembly elections 2018, Jamir also encouraged the unsuccessful candidates – including his own self – by saying that they also have a role to play in the running of the government. “We will pick up the threads of governance which has been lost,” he assured.
He also made an appeal and suggestion to the NDPP party for the next election applicants. “I would like to suggest that the party decide that the applicant for the next election be at least an active member of the party for a year and two as a primary member when the election tickets are given out,” he appealed citing that the “the previous party has made a hotch-potch, a mockery of democracy” without having any meaning and ideologies. “Let us restructure and deliver to the people based on our beliefs,” he challenged.