NPF releases election manifesto

Our Correspondent
Kohima | February 6


The Naga People’s Front (NPF) today released a lengthy election manifesto for the upcoming state polls. Coined as ‘Mission Transform Nagaland,’ the manifesto was released by NPF President, Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu here at NPF Central Office.


Dr. Liezietsu termed the manifesto as “not a mere wish” but something “within our reach to implement.”


Starting off with the Naga political issue, the manifesto said that the party had supported the call for solution before election. It further stated that the party is committed to making way for any new dispensation that would be required once final settlement is reached.


It meanwhile informed that the party would institute a separate Peace Subvention Fund towards supporting efforts aimed at expediting the resolution of the Naga political issue. It further reaffirmed the party’s commitment to work towards “the realisation of a common Naga Homeland and shared Naga future through integration of contiguous Naga-inhabited areas.”


Stating that preservation and strengthening of Naga identity is a serious challenge, the NPF said it would, besides other measures, introduce in the school curriculum in the State, teaching of Naga heritage, Naga life values and moral education. It further harped on revival of Naga cultural values and social practices at the grassroots.


The party said it would review the application of Naga customary laws and practices and initiate to bring in adequate legislative measures to strengthen and empower further the administrative and judicial functions of the Village Councils in the State.


“We shall review the existing land laws and take appropriate measures to strike a balance between land-use for developmental needs and stricter regulations on alienation of lands from the indigenous land owners in the state.”


The manifesto touched on long-term reforms in state governance, systematic reforms and constitution of Administrative and Financial Reforms Commission.


Touching on anti-corruption measures, it stated that “cleansing the process of governance from corruption will be a very serious agenda.” It added that corruption of all kinds, especially misuse, misappropriation and siphoning off of state resources, unjustified cost escalation of projects and payments made against ghost schemes and employees will be dealt with firmly. It further assured that serious corruption cases with prima facie proof will be handed over to the CBI.


The manifesto stated that the party will immediately create appropriate platforms on State Government functioning, especially on government programmes, projects and schemes, and employment details of Government employees.
On the state’s financial performance, the manifesto stated that the party would address the accumulated debt burden of the State, which during 2013 was indicated as Rs.7,452.01 Crores with a ‘Civil Deposit’ component of Rs.1,362.51 Crores.


The Civil Deposit component especially will be scrutinised properly, if necessary with social and physical audit of the programmes/projects, it said


The manifesto also touched on empowerment of urban local bodies and village local bodies, broadening the mandate of the state finance commission and institutionalisation of development planning.


On its new approach to socio-economic development, it prioritized conduct a brisk, simple but systematic appraisal of the various government departments, especially their programmes, GoI flagship programmes, missions and projects undertaken by them. This will be done at the highest level in government, it claimed.


It meanwhile promised that a State Development and Economic Advisory Committee comprising of scientists, professionals and specialists in areas appropriate to Nagaland will be set up to advice and assist the State Government on economic development and growth.


In order to rectify imbalances in development and to give special focus on development of backward areas, the party said projects and schemes of the government that are on-going and incomplete will be identified and appropriate steps taken to complete them within specific time-frame.


On the hot button topic of illegal immigration, the manifesto favoured streamlining and regulating the ILP issuance system further and a vigorous verification system.


It also promised legislators effective means of involvement in State Governance without attracting the question of holding an office of profit. The party also affirmed to pursue the issue of creating an Upper House in the State Legislative Assembly and increasing the seats for Nagaland in the two Houses of Parliament.