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KOHIMA, Aug 28 (NEPS): NPF (Shurhozelie) said the party had changed its nomenclature from time to time but it’s “Flag, Cock symbol and Motto” remained “unchanged.” The core of the party was to protect the identity of the Naga people and for the solution of the Naga political issue and to serve “individuals or some vested interest,” said Achumbemo Kikon, party spokesperson, while addressing a press conference here at NPF Central Office today.
The spokesperson recalled how the regional party was formed in 1963 and facing the first Nagaland General elections in 1964 with 12 of them winning it. 12 of them, however, resigned their memberships from the Assembly when the Government of India declared a ceasefire with the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) on 6 September 1964. Because after the FGN’s signing the ceasefire with the Government of India, they thought the objective of the party was “achieved.” This was the clear exhibition shown by the party that they were for a solution to the Naga issue and not for the election, the spokesperson stated.
It may be mentioned that NPF (Rio) in a statement on Sunday said Dr. Shurhozelie had no significant role in the formation of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) but further alleged that he habitually claimed “ownership and tries to take credit of the cock party.” It also further said his greatest achievement was in “getting the NPC (now NPF) party derecognized” in 1998 during his tenure as president for boycotting the general assembly elections that year.
Kikon, however, explained as to how the party refrained from participating in 1998 elections in Nagaland. It was because they were still maintaining the same policy and principles of the party. But the present dissident NPF leaders from Hotel Legacy started throwing all the allegations that it was Dr. Shurhozelie who made a blunder by not allowing the party people to participate in 1998 assembly elections, leading to freezing the party’s cock symbol, he added.
Kikon wondered how these dissident NPF members, who were already expelled from the party for their anti-party activities, were now questioning party’s refraining from participating in the 1998 assembly elections. He disclosed that these dissident NPF legislators including TR Zeliang were Congress leaders then and went against the popular call of the Naga people spearheaded by the Naga Hoho that “solution first, election second.” They went ahead to file their nominations as Congress candidates for the 1998 elections while NPC refraining from contesting in it in view of the Government of India’s ceasefire with NSCN (IM) in July 1997 and also honoring the popular call of the Naga people, he said.
Now, surprisingly, these same people, who were running the Government which was unconstitutionally installed by Governor PB Acharya after unconstitutionally dismissing Dr. Shurhozelie Government on 19 July 2017, were telling that he (Dr. Shurhozelie) was responsible for the party’s not contesting elections in 1998. “As already stated, the party still maintains its ideology and principles and they will not stand on the way when asked,” the spokesperson reaffirmed.
The spokesperson also narrated now the NPF leaders like Dr. Shurhozelie gave landing place for people like Neiphiu Rio, K Therie in the party when they were not having any landing place. They were not only given landing place but also opportunity to lead the party as Chief Minister and Minister. Unfortunately, they did not have the courage to admit the political generosity given to them, he rued.
Kikon also said if the solution to the Naga issue did not come before the State assembly elections, they were prepared to participate in the elections and further expressed confidence that they would be coming to power again. “The silent majority of the Naga people are with us and we are coming to power again,” he stated.
NPF Vice Presidents Pusazo Luruo and Zaku Tsukru also spoke during the Press Conference.