NPF candidate C Apok Jamir with NPF President Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu, NPF Legislature Party Leader TR Zeliang and others during kick-off campaign of NPF for Lok Sabha bye-election in Kohima on May 16. (Morung Photo)
‘We have a very good chance at victory,’ C Apok Jamir
Kohima | May 16
The Naga People’s Front (NPF) today kicked off its campaign for bye-election to the lone Lok Sabha seat for its candidate, C Apok Jamir at Ura Academy Hall, Kohima village. The program was organized by NPF Kohima division Campaign Committee.
A public rally is scheduled in Wokha on May 17, followed by one in Mokokchung.
Good chance at victory
C Apok Jamir thanked the party president, leader of NPF Legislature Party and party rank and file for having unanimously reposed faith and confidence in his candidature.
Jamir said that he never expected to go into election gear so soon. But with the goodwill, support and determination of the party rank and file to witness the party candidate’s victory, “I had no option but to say yes to the proposal.”
“We have a very good chance of coming out victorious,” he said, adding that majority of the people of Nagaland is in NPF’s favour.
He said it will not be his victory but a ‘collective victory’ of the NPF party as well as the victory of Naga people.
Appealing party workers to give their best and face the challenges ahead, he was confident that the effort of the party rank and file will not go in vain and that itself will be a turning point for the party for a better tomorrow.
“Today, our party is not thinking of short term game. Our party is thinking about the long term game and for the survival of Naga society,” he said, adding that “it is our bounden duty as true Nagas to ensure that no outside forces can dilute the existence and identity of our people.”
“Lok Sabha election is equally important as our state general election. We need to voice our stand. We need to voice our aspirations even in the parliament,” he said.
Stating that Nagaland has just one seat in Lok Sabha, he noted, “That does not mean that we have no voice. Our individual identity and our strength and our stand on truth, our stand of the regional issue and also national issue are generally required to be voiced and that can be heard in the parliament.”
“With that conviction I have accepted the challenge,” Jamir said.
Expect no miracle from PDA
NPF Legislature Party leader, TR Zeliang, called upon the people to cast their vote in favour of the NPF candidate, C Apok Jamir, on polling day (May 28).
He said NPF is a well established party at the grassroots level while other parties are yet to do so.
The NPF, he said, has decided not to cause any disturbance to the NDPP—the NDPP would collapse within itself, he jibed, and NPF will take over the government.
He noted that if the NPF wins this bye election, it will be a rehearsal for 2019 general elections, which will demoralize the present five party coalition government of the PDA.
Zeliang targeted the PDA on appointment of 13 party functionaries to the rank of cabinet minister/minister of state and also others to the rank of commissioner & secretary, secretary and Class I Gazetted officer. He said such appointments would affect the state exchequer.
He questioned the PDA on the concept of removal of VIP culture and on the other hand practicing backdoor appointment.
Taking another dig, he wondered about the PDA’s promise to complete repair/renovation of the district headquarters roads within 60 days. “Where are the good roads in 12 districts?”
Stating that NPF has no idea about the contractor and the amount involved for such constructions, Zeliang said, “Is this called transparency and accountability?”
He said with the onset of rains, they will have to compromise with quality of work.
“We don’t expect a miracle from PDA,” Zeliang asserted.
Stating that election is a costly affair in Nagaland, Zeliang said this bye-election will cost the state exchequer around Rs. 20-30 crores for conduct of the election process.
He also stated that commercial establishments would down their shutters on voting day, which is likely to cause loss of not less than Rs. 100 crore all over Nagaland.
Zeliang charged that the then Lok Sabha MP and present Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, is responsible for this bye-election.
NPF will emerge victorious
NPF President Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu exuded confidence that the NPF will emerge victorious in this bye-election.
He urged party workers to go to grassroots level and propagate the principle and policy of the party, saying that it represents the identity of the Naga people.
Condemning atrocities against Christians across the country, Dr. Liezietsu said we have complete freedom of religion in Nagaland. Open celebration of Durga Puja by Hindus, observance of Id by Muslims are some examples.
He said that NPF has not done anything against any religion in the state.
He however stated that in India, particularly in BJP-ruled states, freedom of religion is no more.
Dr. Liezietsu called upon the electorate to take the right decision and vote for the NPF candidate.
Bye-election campaign committee convener, MLA Khriehu Liezietsu, described Apok Jamir as the most worthy candidate.
He urged everyone to give their best effort so that “we win this election with thumping majority.”
MP (Rajya Sabha) KG Kenye and MLA Thongwang Konyak also addressed the gathering.