TUENSANG (Nagaland): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that the Home Ministry is in talks with the Eastern Nagaland Peoples Organisation (ENPO) and promised that the issues [raised by the organisation] would be addressed after the assembly elections.
Addressing a public rally in the Tuensang public ground of Nagaland, the Union Home Minister said, "There are issues related to development and rights in Eastern Nagaland. Home Ministry is in talks with ENPO to address the issue and reach an agreement for bringing development and rights to the people."
He said: after the elections, the Home Ministry will address all the issues of eastern Nagaland raised by the ENPO and will come to a mutually agreed conclusion for development in the region and serving the people here with their rights. He underlined the ENPO's call for the boycott of elections slated to be held on February 27 and said that the agreement with them is in the final stage.
"Before the elections, ENPO had given a call for the boycott of elections raising their issues of the people from Eastern Nagaland. We have held discussions with ENPO and the agreement is in its final stage," he said, promising that all the concerning issues will be addressed after the election.
"I promise that after the elections all issues raised by the ENPO will be addressed by the Home Ministry," he added. The ENPO on February 4 withdrew its assembly election boycott call decision stating that it is an "expression of trust in the Modi government."
In an official statement, ENPO had said that they have decided to relax the August 26, 2022, resolution with immediate effect at its executive meeting at Tourist Lodge Dimapur following the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The ENPO has been demanding a separate- Frontier State and has also issued warnings to its people and legislators not to participate in the election process.
Addressing further, the Home Minister said that people have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government as they have witnessed unprecedented peace and progress during the NDA regime.
"I want to remind you that before 2014, Nagaland was plagued by firing, bomb blasts. After 2014, PM Modi took forward the Naga peace talks by signing a peace agreement. Today Nagaland has moved forward in the direction of development," Shah said mentioning that the Prime Minister has taken several decisions to restore peace in the region in the last eight years.
"It has led to a 70 per cent decrease in violent incidents, 60 per cent reduction in security personnel casualty, and 83 per cent reduction in civilian deaths, thus making the region safe. He highlighted that a huge part of the state has attained freedom from the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act [AFSPA].
AFSPA is an act to enable certain special powers to be conferred upon members of the armed forces in disturbed areas of the Northeast [Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura]. "A huge part of Nagaland has been freed from AFSPA and I believe that we will make state AFSPA-free in the coming three to four years," he asserted.
Further seeking support to register the victory of his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader assured an increase in the free insurance cap under Ayushman Bharat from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. He added that they have completed 53 developmental projects in the last eight years and 142 more are in their pipeline for Nagaland alone.
"We have increased the budgetary allocations for tribes from Rs 21,000 crore in 2014 to Rs 86,000 crore in 2023. By using the space technology we have finalized more than 100 developmental projects spread across 13 areas including Nagaland," he added.
Notably, with the Nagaland assembly election scheduled on Monday, alliance partners Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the BJP have come forward with a joint declaration to appeal to the voters of Nagaland to cast their votes in favour of candidates contesting on the NDPP and BJP tickets.
Nagaland Chief Minister and NDPP leader, Neiphiu Rio said that the NDPP and BJP as an alliance partner with the seat sharing of 40:20 will emerge victorious in the ensuing election.
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