Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said he will put in all efforts towards resolving the protracted Naga political problem.
“Whatever energy I have, I will put in for resolving the Naga problem” he said while addressing a rally here.
“...but I cannot promise that it will be solved within three months. My heart is in trying to get peace and harmony back in the state,” he said.
Criticising Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for making an “incapable promise” of solving the Naga political issue within three months, Mr. Gandhi said, “Rio promised something which he is incapable of delivering.”
He claimed the Congress-led UPA government was taking bold steps and holding talks with the NSCN leaders.
On development aspect of the state, Mr. Gandhi said, “Nagaland is one of the few states in India, which is actually going backward.”
“The Rio government has put Nagaland in reverse gear and this is not good for the Naga people,” he said, adding instead of making false promises, Mr. Rio should put development of Nagaland in gear.
Alleging that under the NPF-led DAN government, the growth rate of Nagaland had gone down from 8.3 per cent to 3.5 per cent, the Congress vice-president said during the last 17 months, the Centre had given Rs 300 crore for construction of four roads in the state but not a single road was completed and the DAN government wanted to revise the estimates.
He also thrashed the NPF government for not paying the salaries of 2,730 SSA teachers in the state and delaying the women reservation policy in the state.
“Youngsters need education and no state can move forward without empowering its women,” Mr. Gandhi said, promising that the Congress would open dedicated police stations for women.
“The ideology of Congress is love, peace and brotherhood. The people of Northeast should be comfortable in any part of the country and we will build an India where they are comfortable and consider any place as their second home,” he said.
The Congress leader maintained that the single biggest problem of Northeast states was connectivity and assured the next UPA government at the Centre would take up road and infrastructure development in Nagaland and the region on a priority basis.
On the Look East policy, he asserted that steps would be taken to connect the Northeast with other South Asian countries.
He also said efforts of the UPA government to provide 100 million jobs to the youth would be possible only if the Northeast was connected with the rest of the country.
“I want to help you to build a peaceful and prosperous Nagaland,” Mr. Gandhi said asking the Naga people to freely approach and discuss the problems of the region with him.
Appreciating the rich tradition and culture of the Northeast, he said India’s strength was in the variety of its culture and tradition, but the BJP-led NDA wanted to impose its own culture on the region.
“This is the biggest difference between the UPA and the NDA,” he said.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Nagaland Luizinho Faleiro and party leaders Tokheho Yepthomi and S.I. Jamir also addressed the rally in support of Congress candidate K.V. Pusa.