State chief minister Neiphiu Rio disclosed that the Central government was ready to give additional seats in the Parliament and the State assembly post solution to the decades old Naga political issue.
Addressing a campaign rally for NDPP candidate Y. Vikheho Suw at Pughoboto local ground under Zunheboto district Monday, Rio said the Centre had disclosed that 20 more seats would be given in addition to the existing 60 seats in the legislative assembly, while the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seats would be increased to three each.
He further maintained that the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly would have a lot of work to do including the unresolved Naga political issue, impending delimitation, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and women reservation among others.
Rio, therefore, urged upon the people to be united and said that the 14th NLA would have to take crucial decisions for Nagas, referring to the NSCN (I-M) and WC/NNPGs which had come to a common understanding for the resolution of the Naga issue.
Rio also pointed out that the impending census and delimitation would take place soon and maintained that “delimitation should be done justly unlike the last time to deliver justice to all.”
On Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation decision to withdraw their call for non-participation in the election, Rio welcomed the move and highlighted the steps taken by the state government by forming a committee and subsequently, recommending an autonomous council for the region realising the deficiency of development in the region.
Rio asserted that the state government was against division of the state, re-dividing, disintegrating the state, and accordingly the 60 elected members had adopted a resolution, the sixth such resolution, on the integration of the contiguous Naga-inhabited areas.
He further said that the BJP-NDPP alliance, since 2018, was going strong and exuded confidence that the alliance will form the next government and told the gathering not to have any confusions about forming the government, the alliance and leadership.
NDPP is a new party which is regional in character, national in outlook and with global prospect to pursue and uphold regional aspirations and Naga identity, Rio stated.
Pughoboto a regional stronghold: Stating that Pughoboto was a regional stronghold and a regional constituency, Rio exuded hope that the electorates would elect the sitting MLA, Y Vikheho Swu to be in the ruling government.
He urged the people to seize the opportunity, while maintaining that the ticket was given to the NDPP with the hope that the people would not fail him.
Rio also expressed concern about the LJP (RV) party candidate supporters taking the name of the BJP party to confuse the electorates in Pughoboto and assured that he will take up the matter with the high command of the BJP.
Informing that a stable government and strong regional partnership was needed with the BJP, he said BJP had high regard for the Nagas, their sentiments and their uniqueness.
The chief minister also said that NDPP had coined the slogan ‘Change is coming’ during the last election and had worked towards the development, especially in road sector, even though not up to the desired level. He said that the government was also working towards e-governance and computerisation, while the Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) was created to advocate meritocracy and transparency towards excellence.
Meanwhile, also speaking during the rally, incumbent MLA Y Vikheho Swu stated that the road used by the Pughoboto people was built by Rio’s father and expressed gratitude to him for giving Sub-Divisional Planning and Development Board (SDPDB) and electoral district to Pughoboto.
“Our only regret is that since 2003, the Pughoboto AC has been in the opposition due to circumstances which is a loss for the sub-division,” he stated.
He, therefore, said that the NDPP ticket was not for him, but for Pughoboto people to be in the ruling.
Swu also highlighted various programmes initiated by him– under construction sub-divisional complex, road construction from Kijemetouma to Kheloshe Polytechinc, Atoizu via Ghathashi and road from Showuba, to Pangsha in Noklak which will cross Pughoboto.
Further, he also highlighted the various programmes, initiated under him such as Back to Village, Beyond Books, Aphuyemi Achievers Award, Clean Village competition, Jhum Plus etc.
Alliance only with NDPP: BJP
Meanwhile, state BJP chief spokesperson, Kuputo Shohe once again urged the people not to be confused with other parties as there was no other pre-poll or post-poll alliance except with the NDPP.
He also highlighted the various initiatives and development undertaken in the country and the state under the Central leadership.
Meanwhile, Rio was accompanied by minister Neiba Kronu, who is also a star campaigner of the NDPP party, and host of NDPP central leaders also attended the rally.
Popular artiste NK Naga also released and sang the NDPP Pughoboto Region theme song ‘Jukucho Huthuvae’.