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Hekani Jakhalu kick-starts poll campaign

Hekani Jakhalu

DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 6: The lone woman candidate under Dimapur, Hekani Jakhalu today strongly advocated for women’s representation in the highest decision making body in Nagaland and said she would like to be the voice of women and youth.
Jakhalu, who is contesting from 3-Dimapur-III Assembly Constituency on NDPP ticket, today kick-started her election campaign during a declaration programme organized by the NDPP at Toluvi village.
Addressing a mammoth gathering of well-wishers, elders and party workers, Jakhalu maintained that her vision was empowerment of women and youth and to see Nagaland has the Number-1 State in the Northeast.
She said that for the next two weeks she would be in the battlefield where she would focus on four issues ~ Youth, Women, Minorities and making Dimapur-III a model constituency.
She said that she had worked for the youths for the past many years and has dreams for the youth. “I want to make Nagaland No.1 State in the Northeast. This is my goal”, she echoed. Stating that youths are the State’s biggest asset, she said if they are given proper guidance they can fulfil their dreams.
Lamenting that Nagaland Legislative Assembly has not seen any women representation till now, the NDPP’s woman candidate said Nagaland women are not represented in the decision making bodies, although the women form half of the State’s population.
She said women receive love from men in the Naga society, but it is only a woman who can understand the problem of women, adding, this election is also a fight for women.
She also thanked those women who have stood by her.
On making Dimapur-III a model constituency, she opined that there should be better roads, drainage, and development of villages, besides focus should be given on education. Hekani said that when she visited a number of schools in the villages, she found that the Government schools were neglected. She said the Government is giving funds, but the conditions of the schools have been pathetic.
She also said those who can afford can send their children to private schools, but many parents look for education of their children through Government schools, therefore everyone should get the right to education.
On healthcare sector in the constituency, she observed that doctors are available once a week in the public health centres and added that it is the duty of the local MLAs to see that the people get all facilities in their constituencies.
She said her vision is to make Dimapur-III a “model constituency” with better health care facilities, education and basic amenities and set an example for others to follow.
On the issue of minority communities, who were also present in the gathering, Jakhalu said she has been focussing on the minority communities as they have been left neglected. She informed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, she had visited a number of villagers in Dhansiripar, etc where there are lots of people from the minority community such as the Kachari community. She said they are the original settlers of Dimapur but now they are in minority.
Jakhalu further said she considered herself from a minority community while she worked in the Northeast, although she belongs to a major tribe in Nagaland.
Stating that she understand the problems of the minority community in Dimapur, who are in large numbers, she emphasized on getting their children educated. She also assured that she would look into the problems of the minority community in Nagaland.
On the occasion, she also cleared the air about the NDPP ticket being awarded to her and said that the NDPP and Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, NDPP president, Chinwang Konyak and NDPP leadership have big trust on her and assured to give her best to come out with flying colours.
Later, interacting with media persons on the ticket issue, she said this is not family politics, but the party was very clear that whoever is the winnable candidate, definitely they will favour that “but at this time also propaganda worked but everybody knows that I am just a candidate of the NDPP leadership”.
She also said that she is loyal to the NDPP party and will work for that.
When asked whether she was ready to fight corruption, Jakhalu said she started with that.
She said when she started YouthNet, they were the frontrunners of RTI campaigns in Nagaland and will continue to do that.
She said “Good governance includes everything, when you talk about corruption, you talk about public money and how do you utilize that in the right way.”
“If I win by God’s grace, I will focus on my constituency, making sure that the money sent for the development of my constituency is utilized in the right way, it reaches the right people, it reaches the beneficiaries and reaches my constituency”, she asserted.
Replying to another query on the use of money during election, Jakhalu said she said that she has been part of the NBCC Clean Election Campaign in the past and have done Election Watch in the 2013 election and 2018 election.
“I gave my best in 2018 and honestly I failed miserably and then I realized that if I have to change, even if it is 1% or 2%, I have to be in the system. Only when you are in the system then you can bring those changes. I am very clear about that”, she said.
“You have to be part of the system, you have to be part of the Government, you have to be part of the policy making body and that is why, however difficult it may be, this fight is lots of challenge for me. Apart from winning the election, I am also fighting so many personal battles but it is for cause and I am positive and will work out well and with the support of the people will be fulfil the aspirations of the people”, she said.
On women’s reservation, she said she still stands for reservation of women in the decision making body, but added that it still very difficult for women to be there. She, however, hoped that her step of contesting election would encourage and give confidence to other women to dream big.
“Even contesting this, it will inspire other women. If I win it will be a breakthrough for our women in Nagaland”, she further said.
During the programme, short speeches were delivered by Tozhevi Chishi, Head GB, Toluvi village; Kiesalie Thopi, Urra Unit; Vikugha Assumi, Working President, NDPP, 3-Dimapur-III; Vihoshe Awomi, President, NDPP, Dimapur Region, SK Khemphrai, General Secretary, NDPP, Nagaland and representatives of various units.
Noticeably, except for women Pastors, who said the Invocation Prayer and the Benediction, no women spoke at Hekani’s election campaign kick-off programme today.
On the occasion, the campaign song was released by NK Naga.
(Page News Service)