Imphal, Jan. 21: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio today called on the Nagas living in Manipur to take the advantage of the platform provided by the Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF) by contesting the Manipur Assembly elections to unite the Nagas and send their representatives to the Manipur Assembly.
Rio has been campaigning for the 12 candidates fielded by the NPF in five hill districts of Manipur for the January 28 Manipur Assembly elections.
The Nagaland party opened its Manipur unit in May last year.
Rio addressed two election rallies in Tamenglong district on Thursday and one at Maha ground in Chandel district headquarters today. He will campaign in Ukhrul and Senapati districts as well.
Rio said if Okram Ibobi Singh was voted to power he would be the enemy of the Nagas, tribals and backward classes of Manipur.
“Nagas have been suffering in making their legitimate demand of Naga integration. We (NPF) have come here to raise our voice in the (Manipur) Assembly,” Rio told the crowd.
He alleged that the Ibobi Singh government tried to prevent the entry of NPF in Manipur by lobbying with the home ministry.
“We are fighting for our rights and not against any political parties and Meiteis,” Rio said. He also alleged that though 89 per cent of total geographical area comprised hills, the major chunk of the development fund was spent in the only 11 per cent valley areas.
The United Naga Council, which is demanding an alternative administrative arrangement for the Nagas living in Manipur outside the purview of Manipur government, is supporting the NPF candidates.