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Congress will work to protect Naga tradition, culture, find solution to ENPO demand: Jamir

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Kohima, Mar 30 (PTI) Congress nominee for the lone Lok Sabha constituency in Nagaland S Supongmeren Jamir said the party will work to protect the tradition, culture of the state and find a solution to the Naga political issue and Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) demand for separate statehood.

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The present People's Democratic Alliance government in the state is "controlled" by the RSS-BJP government at the Centre and it has "failed" to deliver to the people in all aspects be it Naga political solution, demand for separate statehood by Eastern Nagaland people, protection of the Naga tradition and culture and the rights of the minority, Jamir told PTI in an interview.

"The party (Congress) is of the firm belief that we should stand for the people of the state," he said.

The party high command has told the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee to send the message to the people that Nagaland needs peace and development and equal rights for citizens, youngsters, the business sector and even entrepreneurs.

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He claimed that the PDA government in the state is the alliance of BJP-led NDA in Centre and both are directly controlled by the RSS because of which there is "rampant corruption and lack of development in the state." "People in the grassroots are not getting their facilities… the government comes up with various welfare schemes but it never reaches the grassroots people here," he said.

While the white-coloured jobs have reached a saturation point, the state government is not coming up with measures to help the educated youths to start self-employment schemes.

"There is no vision for youths and women of the day," he said.

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Jamir said once the Congress-led INDIA Bloc comes to power, Rahul Gandhi has assured to bring out schemes not only for the educated and middle-class people but even for pensioners and welfare for the small sector workers, entrepreneurs, farmers and women.

"The sad part of the state government is that all 60 (MLAs) have become opposition-less and are now being systematically controlled by the RSS-BJP at the Centre. We cannot expect any positive deliverance from the state government," he said.

The Centre is playing in such a way that they have forced the state legislators to come under one banner of an opposition-less government in the pretext of a solution to the Naga issue because of which the 60-elected members are unable to voice for a solution.

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Civil societies and general public has the weapon of utilising their precious vote to bring the much-needed change in the state in particular and the Centre in general, he said, while appealing to the electorate to come forward in consciously exercising their franchise.

"Cast your vote in favour of secularism, which only the Congress upholds and continues to fight on those objects," he said.

Jamir asserted that besides these problems, once elected his priority would be resolution of the vexed Naga political issue and also fulfilling the genuine demand of the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) for separate statehood.

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Jamir said the Centre has signed two agreements with the Naga groups but without any solution which is 'very irrational'. The Naga groups have been patient enough for the best solution but the Government of India is taking advantage of them, he said.

On the ENPO issue, he said their demand is 'very genuine' and alleged that GoI has been playing with them for almost two years despite the state government continuing to "neglect "the development of the eastern areas.

"If INDIA Bloc led by Congress comes to power at the Centre, solution of these issues will definitely be brought about," he claimed.

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Jamir said despite being a Christian majority state, Nagas are living in harmony with other minority communities in the state but RSS-BJP is "working hard to bring disharmony." He also said that the Congress is fully aware that it is facing the 60 MLAs who follow the doctrine of the RSS and BJP but people are not under them and they should be conscious of utilising their votes.

"Once INDIA Bloc comes to power there will be drastic changes and faster solutions to the problems of the state," he said.

Asked about reaching out to the people without having a single MLA in the state since 2015, Jamir said "Congress is well aware of the peoples' cry and we will try its level best to reach out as 10 years of Modi government has affected the Naga people in all aspects." Sixty-one-year-old Jamir is a former MLA.

Voting for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland will take on April 19.

The other two candidates for the Nagaland Lok Sabha constituency are ruling NDPP-led People's Democratic Alliance candidate Chumben Murry and Independent candidate Huyithung Tungoe Lotha.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections NDPP nominee Tokheho Yeptomi had won from the Nagaland Lok Sabha seat. PTI NBS NBS RG

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