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Rio breaks silence on candidacy for LS polls

By EMN Updated: Mar 19, 2014 10:10 pm

Principal Correspondent

NAGALAND Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio today maintained that his joining the National Politics giving up the chair in the state would be to take up the bigger responsibility for the Naga people at the National level.
Official receiving the Naga People’s Front (NPF) party ticket to contest the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state here today, Rio said during the past ten years the Congress government has neglected Nagaland.
Expressing that joining the National Politics would be like jumping into the ocean, Rio said “I want to move out of the comfort zone and do bigger things for the people of the state and the North East region in general”.
He said that the NPF Lok Sabha member from Nagaland had extended support to the Congress-led UPA government during the last 10 years, but the Congress failed to honour us. Rio also lambasted the Congress leaders in Nagaland alleging that they always asked the Central government not to give funds to the state and also stopped the Central leaders from visiting the state.
Charging the state congress of walking out of the Assembly not to be a party in passing the resolutions for the welfare of the Naga people on Article 371(A), (B) and Rules of Executive Business, he said “we have to tell to the people who is for the Nagas and who is not”.
Rio also lamented that during the last 10 years, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh failed to official visit the state while recalling that it was PM Atal Behari Vajpayee who visited that the state in 2003 and announced Rs 1500 crore special package to the state, which was also not implemented after the Congress led UPA came to power in 2004.
He also alleged Congress diverting the National Highway as well as Railway links to other states without touching Nagaland while also decreasing the State Plan Allocation by 26%.
Therefore, he declared that NPF would maintain the alliance with BJP-led NDA in the upcoming General Elections because “we need bigger to have friends and partners with big national parties to safeguard our state”
Confident on the relation of the pre-poll alliance with BJP in Nagaland, Rio expressed hope that if the favoured party comes to power in Delhi, the relation of BJP and NPF would grow stronger and that BJP would take their partnership seriously and use him at the centre.
Further maintaining that solution to the vexed Naga political issue would be the top priority, Rio, who is also the Convenor of the North East Regional Political Forum (NERPF), asserted to collectively take up the problems of North Eastern states if voted as the next MP.
“We will involve in the national politics and develop the North East region,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the issue of taking up the chair of Chief Minister once he leaves for Parliament, Rio called upon the party legislators, leaders and workers that the final decision would be taken only after the LS poll is over.
Stating today people are playing political game of hatred and revenge, he said many people don’t like three consecutive rule of DAN government and try to take revenge. He called upon the party workers to careful and be focused on the Naga political issue and loyal to the service of the people.
“Even if I go from here as Chief Minister to Parliament, we have absolute majority of our own with 38 and alliance supported by NCP and independent we have 52. There is no alternate party to take up the challenge,” he said.
We have to stand by firm party policies to make the leadership strong, he said while asserting to involve whenever wanted in the state politics.
Meanwhile, Rio thanked President and all the rank and files of NPF, alliance partners and all supporters and well wishers or bestowing the confidence to give me this LS ticket.
“11 years of CMship and I am grateful to each and everyone,” he said while accepting to be emotional thinking about leaving the CM office because of having worked together for a long time.
However Rio said that “I am taking my constituency from Northern Angami-II to whole of Nagaland and not leaving Nagaland or Party.
“I am changing my constituency and it will now be whole Nagaland… that means I am going to take bigger responsibility for the party, state and for the government,” he said, adding because of your love, affection and support I am in this position and therefore I should step out from my comfort zone to do bigger things for the party and state.
“I should take the challenge only then this party can deliver goods to our state and the people,” he said.
Maintaining that NPF has made so many policies and programme, he said “we have infused new innovative ideas and policies for everybody to see down from the youth to the farmers and the party expansion to various other states, particularly in Naga inhabited states including Myanmar”.
All this achievement is possible because we worked in unison, we gave a combined efforts and whatever achieved credit to all of us and the most seasoned and matured leader in the person of Dr. Shürhozelie giving the leadership and disciplining the party.
He also recalled that in March 2003, when NPF took over the government, opposition Congress told people that NPF government will last only for 3 months, but they extended to one year maximum and promised to give Christmas gift to party men and women.
But, he proudly said, this NPF party created history for ourselves and the state and for the regional party as no party in Nagaland has managed to run the affairs of the state for three consecutive times but Cock party has done it. “Being Chief Minister for 3 consecutive times has also created a history,” he added.
“This was all possible because of the support and cooperation, cohesion we have from the party angle and the people. I feel the policies and vision we have for the Naga people, we have a long way to go in the service of our people,” he said.
Therefore, I look forward to working together continuously with bigger responsibility on my head, Rio asserted.
In his speech, Dr Shürhozelie said the Party has decided to send the CM Rio as the consensus candidate with a “mission to speak and work for the Naga people in Lok Sabha” because of which even some Congress people are also prepared to help our candidate.
He also expressed the Central office will monitor the performance of all the leaders and legislators during the ensuing polls for future record. Maintaining that election is an opportunity to prove the leadership and have closer contact with the people at the grassroots, he called upon the party leaders, men and women to work hard to send the two NPF candidates to the parliament.
Nagaland Unit BJP president Dr Chuba Ao and JD(U) president Mhonjan Lotha also speaking on the occasion declared full support to the candidature of Rio for the Lok Sabha seat stating that “Rio is the right candidate to represent the Naga people in the Parliament”.

Rio and Pusa to file nominations today

Principal Correspondent

Candidates of the two major political parties in the state, ruling Naga People’s Front and Opposition Congress would be filing their nominations on Thursday before the Returning Officer for the Lok Sabha polls in Kohima. Official sources in the Returning Officer’s office said that Congress candidate and former minister K. V. Pusa would be filing the nomination in the early official hour.  Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, the official candidate of NPF and also consensus candidate for Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) comprising of NPF, BJP and JD(U) supported by NCP and Independent MLAs would be filing the nomination in the afternoon.

NSSATA silent march today

Principal Correspondent

TAKING opportunity of the budget session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), which will commence from Thursday, the Nagaland SSA Teachers Association (NSSATA) have decided to stage a silent protest infront of the Assembly. Over 2700 NSSATA members are on protest in the form of boycotting the classes since March 10 last demanding release of their pending salaries for last four months by the state government as well as to induct them as regular state government employees. NSSATA sources revealed since the government has not been releasing their salaries despite their agitation entering the tenth day today, the government has not released the salaries. Therefore, sources said they have decided to stage silent protest in front of the State Assembly on Thursday.

By EMN Updated: Mar 19, 2014 10:10:46 pm