Rio dismiss ‘instability’ rumours

Rio dismiss ‘instability’ rumours
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Says PDA Govt is strong and stable

Kohima, March 24: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today took issue with the opposition bench for their claims that the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government lacked vision but adopting the policies and programme of the previous NPF-led DAN Government.
In his concluding remarks on the debate on motion of thanks to the Governor’s address, Rio reminded opposition NPF that it was under his leadership that the NPF Government had come to power for three consecutive terms from 2003-2013.
All the policies and slogans of the then NPF Government were made under my leadership, he said adding now with NDPP-led PDA Government one can find similarities.
On the critical statements about the stability of his Government, Rio said, “We are strong and stable without any semblance of trust deficit… the number of cabinet berth and portfolios allocated are issues within the PDA family members and they (NPF) need not be too worried about that. It may give them sleepless night, but it is our business and we are happy without any problem and we are functioning smoothly”.
He also informed the House that NPP and JD(U) are ally of the NDA at the Centre and also partners of North East Democratic Alliance and therefore it is natural for them to join us while the lone Independent member also willingly joined the Government.
“They have strengthened us and we have welcomed them with open arms,” he said adding there is nothing to hide, rather ours is a collective vision to bring peace, development and economic growth under an environment of stability and collective responsibility we shall deliver through deeds and action and not mere words.
He also clarified that the PDA is a well defined alliance based on development and political agendas as the priority.
Rio appreciated the members of the treasury and opposition bench for their positive contribution during the debate and also for reminding the members of the necessary steps to improve the performance.
On the criticism of opposition on Governor’s statement “My government came back to power…”, Rio clarified that “we went to the elections under my leadership in 2003, 2008 and 2013 and I was the chief minister from 2003 to 2014, and therefore the Governor must be talking about my Government coming back in 2018”.
On Naga political issue, Rio said “my Government has committed to play the role of active facilitator and will leave not stone unturned in our collective endeavour to bring an early political settlement”.
Naga people all across our homeland are crying for peace, but despite two decades of political negotiations and peace talks we are yet to arrive at a solution,” he said, adding that the House including all the members ardently urges upon the negotiating parties to expedite the negotiation process to bring about a settlement.
“We will make every possible contribution to resolve a solution that upholds our history and political rights in an honourable manner and acceptable to the Naga people,” he said, while also expressing the hope that the members of House will join hands towards achieving that aspiration.
On Governor’s statement that solution will come within six months, Rio said “I have read it in newspapers but don’t have any confirmation of the statement.
Solution within six months is not in the knowledge of the PDA Government, he said while clarifying that “may be he (Governor) was very keen and wants early solution… or for what reason he made the statement is not personally communicated to us”.
He therefore said that it will be endeavour of the Government and also collective responsibility to work tireless to bring early solution.
On the law and order front, Rio said the situation improved following the signing of ceasefire agreement by NSCN(IM) and NSCN(K) in 1997 and 2001 respective and with the support of NGOs and FNR all the groups were brought together while many documents were signed as one people and nation with one goal.
But, after I left they disintegrated and unfortunately NSCN(K) went to extent of abrogating the ceasefire and continues till now, he regretted. Rio expressed happiness that Zeliang has written two letters to the Khaplang group to re-join the ceasefire with GoI.
Rio however said that Myanmar and India are two separate countries and unfortunately Nagas are thoroughly divided while GoI had inherited the division of Nagas with Myanmar and also in four states within India.
He said that the negotiations of Indo-Naga political issue is “very complex” and one agreement cannot settle the issue in between two countries.
NSCN(K) should draw a ceasefire and have a dialogue with Myanmar Government, because right now Nagas have been recognized in Myanmar and they have representatives in the Myanmar Parliament, he said, adding “so they have take one settlement in Myanmar because we cannot ask the Nagas in Myanmar to come and settlement in India.
People belonging to NSCN(K) group who are in the Indian side should draw ceasefire again and join the dialogue, he said, adding that Nagas need two different settlements.
He said that permanent peace could not be achieved because the negotiating groups, that is, the Government of India and NSCN(IM) and now the six NNPGs joining have closed down but they are unable to get the meeting point. In this, “the government play the role of active facilitator,” he said.
Replying to opposition query whether the Government will step down if settlement is achieved, Rio on behalf of the treasury bench declared “we will pave way, we will vacate and we will not come on way”.
Till Naga political issue lingers, the law and order maintenance which is under control will be temporary. “Extortion and collection, paying taxes to many groups are very unhealthy for our economy,” Rio said.
On Vision Document 2030, he said “we will go through and see what is achievable and what is not”. “We also have lot of vision for infrastructure development, for the farmers, youth and all section of the people and we want to improve the economy of the State”, the Chief Minister declared. (Page News Service)