Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Every Naga a stakeholder for securing Naga solution: Rio


Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio reiterated that the Naga political issue was not the private property or domain of any party, organisation or individual and that every Naga was a direct stakeholder in the quest for genuine peace and an honourable solution.
He also informed the house that the BJP high command welcomed the support extended to the PDA-II government as the coming together of all parties including independents would help in reaching higher levels of development, progress and achieving early solution to the Naga political issue. Rio said this while reacting to the speech made earlier by NPF legislator Azo Neinu who was speaking on the motion of thanks to governor’s address on the third day of the first session of 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) Thursday.
Azo had earlier claimed, that his party (NPF) has been championing the Naga political issue. Rio in response said that to claim that only one party was the champion of Naga political issue was totally unreasonable and far from the reality in the present situation. He reminded the House that every Naga family across all Naga-inhabited areas had made sacrifices and contributed to the Nag movement over generations. He pointed out that the movement had reached thus far due to contributions of all sections of the people.
Rio repeated that since political negotiations were ongoing at the highest level, any party trying to claim to be the sole champion for Naga issue was unacceptable and disrespectful to all Nagas across generations.
He said the contribution and sacrifices of past leaders and political parties were acknowledged and not denied, but for anyone to claim that oly one party had made contribution and was the only champion was unreasonable. “Let us not make political rhetoric and play to galleries, but rather let us be practical, realistic and honest and work collectively,” Rio exhorted the members, adding that the right message of oneness should be sent out so that other sections also took the lead and forged unity.
He cautioned that to say that only one party was the champion would create mistrust, disunity and would be ridiculed by the public, while urging everyone not to undermine the wisdom of citizens.
Rio also slammed Azo for alleging that the huge turnout of electorate and their full participation in the recently concluded assembly election, was due to use of money power. He advised Azo to be cautious while making any statement.
He reminded elected members not to undermine the mandate of the people since the electorate have spoken through the mandate. However, to say that money power alone was the determining factor was disrespectful to the citizens, including the voters who had “voted for you also”, he told Azo.
He urged all MLAs not to undermine the wisdom and intelligence of people, but rather self-introspect and try to understand the dynamics of electoral results.
“Let us not make blanket statements that paint our State and our citizens in poor light,” Rio said as he appealed to members to show respect towards one another and if they felt humbled for being re-elected, then they should respect the mandate of the masses.
BJP readily accepted all-party govt: To the statement by Azo about the status of the letter of support extended to the ruling coalition, Rio said he welcomed the support extended to his government by NPF and all the parties, including the Independents.
He disclosed that he spoken to BJP high command and it had agreed “heartily” to support his government on the matter and exuded confidence that coming together of all political parties in support would help the State in reaching even higher levels of development, progress and an early solution to the Naga political issue.
He revealed that the letter of support was submitted to the governor and NLA secretariat for the records as well.
Rio said he desired that all the 60 MLAs come together for working in the interest of people and for an early solution of the Naga political issue and various other issues confronting the State.
Thanking Azo for highlighting the achievements and development activities of the State government, he commented that as people’s representatives they had to be always transparent and take the government activities to the masses so that they were aware of the government’s intent.
Mon Medical College: On the NPF MLA’s contention that the governor had missed Mon Medical College in his speech, Rio informed the House that primary works had started and major works would be carried out in 2023-24.
Illegal immigrants: On Azo’s suggestion to bring out strong policies to deal with impending problems, including illegal immigrants and Inner Line Permit (ILP), Rio informed the house that during his previous tenure, the government had paid due attention to the issue and that his government had always been taking steps to ensure that the State did not face any problem in this matter.
He said the government had moved to online mode of ILP, extended ILP regime to Dimapur that had always remained outside its purview and took various other administrative measures.
In order to completely curb the possibility of issue of fake Indigenous Inhabitant Certificate and protecting the rights of indigenous people of the State, Rio disclosed that the government was in the process of taking several administrative and structural measures for strengthening the procedure for identification, scrutiny and issue of indigenous certificates.
Foothills Road: On the status of Foothill Road sought by NPF MLA Achumbemo Kikon and R&B minister G Kaito Aye, Rio asserted that besides shortening the distance to several places, it had the potential to immensely boost the local economy and assured that his government was making all necessary efforts for its early construction.
With regard to the exact length of Foothills Road, the chief minister mentioned that its total length would be 320 km, taking into account the already existing stretches of national highways falling on the route.
He mentioned that as the road alignment work was underway, the exact figure regarding length could vary slightly, adding that the road was being planned from Tizit to Khelma only.
New road projects: On BJP MLA Imkong L Imchen wanting to know about new road projects, Rio assured that projects would be taken up in the coming years under various schemes and programmes of the Central and State governments depending on the need and in public interest.
Increase in meat production: On meat production pointed out by G Kaito Aye, Rio claimed that the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Service was aggressively supporting piggery, goatery and poultry under the National Livestock Mission (NLM) to meet the increasing demand for meat in the State through local progressive entrepreneurs with the support from the Centre.
He hoped that it would be possible to meet the demand for meat in the State to a great extent within the next two to three years.
Govt not directly involved in management of Vety College: On the status of Veterinary College, Jalukie raised by G Kaito Aye, Rio said the college was under the direct control and supervision of Central Agriculture University, Imphal.
He clarified that the State government was not directly involved in management and other development matters of the college. However, he assured that the State government would always provide any help or support that the college might require for its further growth and development in the interest of people of the State
Khelhoshe Polytechnic Atoizu qualifies to introduce Engineering Degree Course: On the status of Khelhoshe Polytechnic Atoizu raised by G Kaito Aye, Rio said the institute was qualified and eligible to introduce engineering degree course after getting the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditation.
He mentioned that land and other matters had been sorted out to the satisfaction of everyone, the DPR had already been submitted to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and was being pursued. He hoped that its upgradewould take place soon.
In his concluding remarks on the motion of thanks to the governor’s address, Rio lauded all members of the House for participating in the discussion on the motion of thanks to the governor’s address moved by Tongpang Ozukum and seconded by H Tovihoto Awomi.
He remarked that the deliberation was positive and fruitful, and would go a long way in improving the delivery mechanism of government departments. He said even though he did not respond to each and every query, his government had taken all the points on a serious note and assured that all constructive suggestions would be followed up with sincerity.
He thanked Ganesan for addressing the first session of the new House, noting that the latter was a seasoned leader and a well-knownpersonality who had made positive contributions to public life in various capacities stretching across decades.
Rio also appreciated the electorate for reposing their faith in his government and giving a strong mandate to the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA). He said the overwhelming mandate had encouragedthe ruling alliance to work with renewed vigourin the collective endeavour to serve the citizens of the State.
He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and all Central leaders who had participated in the Assembly election campaign and connected with citizens of Nagaland.
He termed the campaign as a movement that engaged with all sections of people in a dignified manner and ensured that a decorum was maintained, besides bringing the mainland closer to the Northeast.
Rio thanked Modi and Shah for attending the swearing-inceremony of the PDA government. “It was a historic occasion as it was for the first time that the Prime Minister of India had attended the swearing-inceremony,” he remarked, pointing out that it showed the concern of the Central government towards Naga people.
The chief minister also acknowledged Election Commission of India, State Election Department and all government agencies, including the administration and police, for ensuring a peaceful Assembly election.
He also commended civil society organisations, mass-based organisations, tribal hohos, church bodies, NGOs and all other stakeholders for making positive contributions towards a successful election process.
Further, he complimented the electorate for a high voting percentage 88.07%, which showed the world that Nagas believed in democracy and that the citizens continued to contribute towards the nation-building process by strengthening the foundations of democracy in the world’s largest democracy.
Noting that the House had 29 new members and 33 former legislators had failed to get re-elected, Rio pointed out that there was an underlying message in the verdict that the people wanteda positive change and performance.
He exuded confidence that members of the current House would make significant contribution to change the destiny of the people in a positive manner.
The House unanimously adopted the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s Address.


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