Kohima, Dec 1: Nagaland On Wednesday celebrated its 59th Statehood Day with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio extending his greetings to the people of the state.
Rio, on the occasion, said that the state with special provisions (Article 371-A in the Constitution), occupies a unique position in the Indian Union.
The CM stressed that people of the state are earnestly waiting for a solution to the Naga political issue.
According to the Article 371-A, no act of Parliament would apply to the state of Nagaland in matter relating to religious or social practices of Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil or criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law and ownership and transfer of land and its resources.
"The dialogue and negotiations between the Centre and Naga political groups have reached a stage that gives us hope of an early resolution," he said.
On the part of the government, he said, all the elected leaders of the state have come together to form an opposition-less government -- the United Democratic Alliance -- in their effort to facilitate an early settlement to the issue.
"Through this united front, we aim to convey the voice of the people to all stakeholders involved in the negotiations," he said.
Nagaland is the first state in the northeast to be bifurcated from Assam as the 16th state of the Indian Union.
Speaking at Nagaland Civil Secretariat Plaza here, Rio said "As we celebrate this day, our hearts are filled with gratitude to all our leaders, who played a pioneering role in the creation of Nagaland as the sixteenth state of the Union of India."
The CM further maintained that despite achievements in various fields, including health, education and infrastructure, a lot remains to be done and the government is committed to taking necessary steps for the state's all-round development and to ensure that people are provided with opportunities for growth and progress.
Noting that the state has been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for almost two years now, Rio said the government has constantly monitored the situation and taken timely decisions which helped us in dealing with the first and the second waves effectively.
Taking the opportunity, Rio appealed to people to continue to be watchful and take all preventive steps as "we open up and start the festive season in the state, specially the 10-day long Hornbill Festival, starting today, to be followed by Christmas".
COVID vaccine hesitancy in some pockets of the districts is a matter of great concern, he said, lamenting that some mischief-makers are spreading misinformation and misguiding people about inoculation on social media.
Maintaining that the state witnessed a drought-like situation this year, he said that the government, in order to deal with the delayed and erratic rains, has implemented a crop contingency plan.
This will help affected farmers with input support during Rabi season, he maintained.
The department of school education has commenced implementing the National Education Policy 2020 in a phased manner, he underlined.
Enumerating the list of development initiatives his government is undertaking for the welfare of the state, Rio called upon all to work in unison to take the state forward on the road to peace, growth and development.
The CM, during the programme launched Nipun Bharat Mission – a national initiative that aims to achieve the goal of universal proficiency in foundational literacy and numeracy for every child.