PDA Will Never Compromise Naga Identity And Christian Principles, Says Nagaland Chief Minister Rio - Eastern Mirror
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PDA will never compromise Naga identity and Christian principles, says Nagaland Chief Minister Rio

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Apr 08, 2024 11:42 pm
Neiphiu Rio (EM Images)

KOHIMA — The People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) will never compromise Naga identity and Christian principles, said Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday.

Addressing the PDA’s coordination meeting in Kohima, Rio said the state government is in alliance with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) keeping in mind the unresolved Naga political issue, and the fact that Nagaland is a ‘resource crunch’ state which is dependent on the Centre.

He said that Nagaland is ‘lucky’ to be in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls and urged the electorate to vote for the PDA consensus candidate, Dr. Chumben Murry who he said, is the right contender.

Regarding the candidates in the fray for the state’s lone seat to the 18th Lok Sabha, he said that Murry has the support of all the 60 members of the state legislative assembly. He went on to claim that Congress has fielded S Supongmeren Jamir to ‘save face’, as there were no candidates, while Independent candidate Hayithung Tungoe Lotha is contesting despite lack of support from family and friends.

Dr Chumben Murry (EM Images)

Taking a jibe at the Congress, he said that the prime ministers of the INC-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) did not adequately address Nagaland’s development needs, despite ruling the country for two consecutive tenures. Rather, it caused obstruction to the development commitment made during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s term.

In contrast, the NDA came to power and the state is making developmental progress, he maintained, adding that the Congress party is contesting not to win but to spread propaganda against the ruling government.

He went on to state that the party has not had an MLA in the Nagaland assembly for decades, and is not in a position to come back to power.

Furthermore, he expressed concerns over internal conflicts among Naga groups and emphasised the need for unity among the Naga people.

Rio said that he would be going to Manipur to campaign for the Naga people’s Front (NPF) candidate Kachui Timothy Zimik for the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency on April 20.

Will work for interest of Christians

Speaking during the meeting, Murry expressed his desire to work for interest of Christians if elected, and reach out to the governments in states where atrocities are meted against the Christians and minorities.

Referring to the Congress’ manifesto which promises to bring a law to recognise civil union between couples belonging to LGBTQIA+ community, he said, it is for the people to analyse whether Congress is actually pro-Christian or not.

He went on to say that the 18th House of the Parliament will be crucial for the Naga political issue. While politicians cannot be a party to the talks, they can project the views and aspirations of the people by raising the issue in the Parliament, he said, adding that a solution to the protracted Naga issue is a prerequisite for progress and development.

Highlighting various initiatives taken up under Rio’s leadership, he said there has been a change of perception between the Centre and for the Nagas under the present dispensation.

However, he acknowledged the presence of anti-incumbency sentiment among the youth and appealed for a thoughtful analysis and unity to support the government in bringing peace.

Political parties extend support

Other leaders who spoke during the event included MLA and NPF Legislature Party leader, Kuzholuzo Nienu who affirmed his party’s unflinching support to the PDA consensus candidate and stressed the importance of unity during the Lok Sabha election to demonstrate the seriousness of political parties and the MLAs in resolving the longstanding Naga issue.

Cautioning against overconfidence, he advised the candidate to approach advice, criticism and suggestions with a positive attitude to ensure a substantial victory margin.

Advisor for Prison, Printing, and Stationery, Kropol Vitsu, reiterated the BJP’s commitment to supporting the PDA consensus candidate and dispelled rumours about the party’s stance on religious and political matters.

The BJP legislator maintained that the party is neither theocratic nor anti-minority, but a secular party established and formed under the constitution of India.

National People’s Party MLA Dr. Tseilhoutuo Rhutso and independent MLA Kevipodi Sophie also addressed the meeting, urging the electorate to support the PDA candidate as it will be beneficial for the state.

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Apr 08, 2024 11:42:28 pm
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