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KOHIMA, FEBRUARY 17 (MExN): A ‘goodwill’ meeting of 14 legislators representing various tribes of the State and a three-member delegation led by the Angami Public Organization president, Dr Vilhousa Seleyi was held at the State Banquet Hall, Kohima on Friday. This was informed in a statement release to the media by the CMO.
Furthermore, the CMO also stated that Dr. Seleyi made it “very clear that they did not attend today’s meeting representing the APO but that they came on their own behalf.” The CMO press statement stated that the Nagaland Chief Minister, who is in the national capital had conveyed his desire for his colleagues to meet with the leaders and take the process of dialogue forward.
Several legislators explained the Constitutional obligation of the Government to hold elections to the ULBs, and the fact that in the absence of having elected councils in the towns and cities for nearly ten years now, funds amounting hundreds of crores for development of these townships could not be availed all these years, the CMO press statement said.
Vikheho Swu, Minister for Roads and Bridges, explained how due to closure of Government offices for the last two weeks or so, work orders for developmental activities could not be issued adding that due to climatic conditions, the State gets only limited months before the rains set in.
Senior legislator from Wokha district, Dr TM Lotha narrated how closure of banks had adversely affected students studying outside the State.
Senior Cabinet Minister, Tokheho Yepthomi mentioned the plight of daily wage earners, vegetable and fruit vendors and other traders who have been badly affected by the more than three weeks of bandh especially in Dimapur.
Most of the speakers underscored the need to open up Government offices so that the Government employees can perform their duties and also get their salaries.
According to the CMO, the tribal leaders gave a patient hearing to all the speakers and APO president Dr Seleyi, who attended the meeting on a personal capacity, spoke of the immense pressure they were placed under by the public for the last few months ever since elections to the ULBs were mooted. He said the leaders of the APO have been spending not less than eight hours every day in office and that they were interacting with not less than 600 people every day.
The CMO press statement stated that, “Dr Seleyi said and went on to clarify certain misleading and what he called “emotional statements” such as the APO asking for the dead bodies to be brought to Kohima and “imposition of taxes on vegetable and farm produces, livestock and poultry” reared by the villagers once elections to the ULBs were held.”
Dr Seleyi narrated the chain of events leading to the violence and arson in the Capital the other night, and assured that he and his colleagues would go back and discuss the issues and concerns raised by the legislators with their other colleagues, the CMO stated.