Nagaland chief minister and NPF president, Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu on Thursday said NPF party was “for integration of contiguous Naga areas.”
However, he said it had to be done “through a democratic and legally-correct process which may take some time.” He expressed optimism that sooner or later “integration” would be a reality.
Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu said this while addressing the NPF election rally at Chandel and Ukhrul, CMO media cell stated.
He also reiterated the need to have a common platform for people living in the hill districts of Manipur. Though the nomenclature of NPF mentions “Naga”, he said “the party stands for the conglomeration of the entire people of the Hill districts of Manipur.”
Dr. Liezietsu cited an instance when he was approached by some political parties from Jharkhand to join the NPF. He said the party decided to go slow for the moment.
He lamented that the hill districts, having 20 legislators for the past 40 years, have failed to come together on a single platform even though they had represented different political parties.
“They become strangers and this prevents them to speak out in one voice and one mind when they attend the Assembly sessions in Imphal, even though they might have the best of intentions for the over-all development of their people,” he added.
“We believe that by introducing the NPF in Manipur we have provided the much-needed platform to the people of these 20 constituencies,” he said.
He said this was the intention of NPF to provide a platform, so that the collective voice of the legislators can bring development; protect the interests of the hill people.
Elaborating on the aims and objectives of NPF, he said that the party stands for peace and was determined to play the role of a peace-maker among the different sections of the people of the hill districts.
“Not only to the different sections of the people of hill districts, but even to the different factions of the underground,’ he said, adding, unless the factions come together, they cannot achieve anything.
NPF’s aim is to be the bridge between various underground groups, said Dr. Liezietsu.
He further went on hit out at Manipur chief minister, O. Ibobi Singh accusing him of “playing a communal card for political gains.” He said people living in the hills and the valley has been and would continue to live together as neighbours.”
He said NPF was for peace and would continue to play for peace. “We want to live in complete harmony with all our neighbours,” he said and appealed to the voters to ensure that the NPF candidates were elected.
Echoing, Dr. Liezietsu Nagaland minister in-charge of NPF Manipur, Yitachu said “NPF is not participating in the Manipur elections just for the sake of participating, but we are serious on finding a solution to the Naga political problem.” Yitachu went on to recall how in 1964, NPF party, then known as Democratic Party of Nagaland, sacrificed its 12 MLAs after the ceasefire agreement was signed between the government of India and the NNC/FGN by making all of its MLAs resign from the Assembly “to pave way for a negotiated settlement.”Yitachu pointed out that the Congress party in Manipur had let down the hills people all these years and said that Congress was going to lose the polls because of Ibobi and the party’s policy against the Naga peace process and for its policy against tribal people.
Also addressing the election rally at Ukhrul, Nagaland Roads & Bridges minister, Vikheho Swu hit out at the Congress government for failing to prove its commitment despite ruling Manipur for a long period.
He said people needed a stable, people sensitive and a visionary government in Manipur. Vikheho said the people of Ukhrul district were the most enlightened people amongst the hill tribes of Manipur. He also acknowledged the four MLAs for taking the historic decision, to resign in protest against the three anti-tribal bills passed by the Manipur Assembly.