Ibobi Singh playing communal card for political gains: Nagaland CM

Ukhrul/Chandel (Manipur), March 2 (IANS) Naga People’s Front Supremo and Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu on Thursday accused his Manipur counterpart Ibobi Singh of “playing a communal card for political gains”.

“We (NPF) want to see all the different communities live together in peace and harmony,” he said addressing election rallies in Ukhrul and Chandel.

“We stand for peace and we will continue to play for peace. We want to live in complete harmony with all our neighbours,” the NPF supremo asserted.

Urging voters to ensure that the NPF candidates are elected, Shurholzelie said the inability of the 20 legislators from the hill districts to come together on a single platform all these decades has “prevented the representatives to speak out in one voice in the Manipur Assembly” even though they might have the best of intentions for the over-all development of their people.

Underlining the need for the people from the Hill districts to have a common platform in the assembly, Shurholzelie said though the nomenclature of the party mentions Naga, the party stands for the conglomeration of all the people of the Hill districts of Manipur.

Echoing his party supremo, Nagaland Minister in Charge of the NPF’s Manipur Unit, Yitachu said, “The NPF is not participating in the Manipur elections just for the sake of participating, but we are serious on finding a solution to the Naga political problem.”

Yitachu went on to recall how in 1964, the NPF, then known as Democratic Party of Nagaland, sacrificed its 12 MLAs after the Ceasefire Agreement was signed between the Government of India and the NNC/FGN by making all of its MLAs resign from the assembly “to pave way for a negotiated settlement”.

Also heeding to the call of the people and various sections of the Naga society, the NPF then known as NPC, boycotted the elections of 1998 in Nagaland along with all other political parties except for the Congress which got elected unopposed and formed the government much to the opposition of the people.

Yitachu went on to recount how in Manipur the Congress had let down the people of the Hill districts all these years and said that the Congress is going to lose this time because of Ibobi, because of the party’s policy against the Naga peace process and because of its policy against the tribal people.