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PDA launches campaign for Lok Sabha polls

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DIMAPUR, March 19 - The ruling People�s Democratic Alliance (PDA) in Nagaland kicked off its campaign for the Lok Sabha election here today, promising to continue development works in the State and protect the rights of the Nagas.

The alliance comprising the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), BJP, National People�s Party, JD(U) and an Independent has fielded consensus candidate and sitting MP Tokheho Yepthomi for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the State. Yepthomi is a member of the NDPP, the major partner of the PDA.

At the launch of the poll campaign at the Dimapur District Sports Complex Stadium here, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the ruling alliance in the State has started work on fulfilling the poll promises after coming to power last year.

�Let the four-laning works on the NH-29 between Dimapur and Kohima be completed. Development of all roads in towns and district headquarters will also be taken up,� Rio assured.

He said nine to 10 State departments received national awards in the last one year, while Nagaland was awarded the �Best Performing Small State� in the �Law and Order� category by the India Today State of States Survey 2018.

�This was possible because of the peaceful atmosphere and development works in the State,� Rio asserted.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s image got a further boost after the surgical strike in Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack and the release of the IAF pilot by Pakistan one day after his capture.

He exuded confidence that the BJP Government would retain power and added that only the BJP could settle the Naga political issue.

He said after the BJP-led Government came to power at the Centre in 2014, it signed the framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M) on August 3, 2015.

On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Rio said it was a matter of concern for the whole North East region. He, however, said the PDA is firm that Article 371 (A) of the Constitution can protect the rights of the Nagas even if the Bill is passed.

He said the Opposition Naga People�s Front leadership is �confused� and fighting among themselves over candidature for the Lok Sabha seat. �While one group is for fielding a candidate of its own, another group is for backing the Congress candidate,� he alleged.

It will be a shame if the NPF, which has 26 MLAs in Nagaland, backs the Congress party which does not even have a single MLA in the State.

In his address, PDA candidate Yepthomi said the Naga talks did not progress during the previous UPA regimes. It was only after the BJP Government came to power that the framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M) was signed.

He said the Parliamentary Standing Committee formed by the NDA Government on the Naga issue had submitted its report in the Parliament, which said the talks were in an advanced stage. Deputy Chief Minister and State BJP leader Y Patton also spoke on the occasion.

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PDA launches campaign for Lok Sabha polls

DIMAPUR, March 19 - The ruling People�s Democratic Alliance (PDA) in Nagaland kicked off its campaign for the Lok Sabha election here today, promising to continue development works in the State and protect the rights of the Nagas.

The alliance comprising the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), BJP, National People�s Party, JD(U) and an Independent has fielded consensus candidate and sitting MP Tokheho Yepthomi for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the State. Yepthomi is a member of the NDPP, the major partner of the PDA.

At the launch of the poll campaign at the Dimapur District Sports Complex Stadium here, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the ruling alliance in the State has started work on fulfilling the poll promises after coming to power last year.

�Let the four-laning works on the NH-29 between Dimapur and Kohima be completed. Development of all roads in towns and district headquarters will also be taken up,� Rio assured.

He said nine to 10 State departments received national awards in the last one year, while Nagaland was awarded the �Best Performing Small State� in the �Law and Order� category by the India Today State of States Survey 2018.

�This was possible because of the peaceful atmosphere and development works in the State,� Rio asserted.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s image got a further boost after the surgical strike in Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack and the release of the IAF pilot by Pakistan one day after his capture.

He exuded confidence that the BJP Government would retain power and added that only the BJP could settle the Naga political issue.

He said after the BJP-led Government came to power at the Centre in 2014, it signed the framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M) on August 3, 2015.

On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Rio said it was a matter of concern for the whole North East region. He, however, said the PDA is firm that Article 371 (A) of the Constitution can protect the rights of the Nagas even if the Bill is passed.

He said the Opposition Naga People�s Front leadership is �confused� and fighting among themselves over candidature for the Lok Sabha seat. �While one group is for fielding a candidate of its own, another group is for backing the Congress candidate,� he alleged.

It will be a shame if the NPF, which has 26 MLAs in Nagaland, backs the Congress party which does not even have a single MLA in the State.

In his address, PDA candidate Yepthomi said the Naga talks did not progress during the previous UPA regimes. It was only after the BJP Government came to power that the framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M) was signed.

He said the Parliamentary Standing Committee formed by the NDA Government on the Naga issue had submitted its report in the Parliament, which said the talks were in an advanced stage. Deputy Chief Minister and State BJP leader Y Patton also spoke on the occasion.