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Rio slams Congress for ‘wrong policies’

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio addresses the meeting in Shillong on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos

Shillong, March 15: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio today slammed the Congress for adopting “erred” (sic) policies in its 50 years of rule.

He alleged that the Congress had failed to realise the need to implement a policy which will “teach the people how to fish instead of waiting for someone to give fish all the time”. Rio was in Shillong kickstarting the campaign for United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate Paul Lyngdoh contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Shillong parliamentary constituency.

Addressing a general council meeting of the UDP workers organised at Asom Kristi here, Rio said the Congress had ruled the country for more than 50 years and realised the need to provide education to the children and food to the people only now. He was referring to the Right to Education (RTE) Act and Food Security Act.

“The Congress passed the food security bill after realising that the people are angry and hungry. We welcome the food security bill because people are hungry, but I personally feel that the need of the hour is to have a job security bill instead of the Food Security Act,” he said.

Rio said the proposed schemes (RTE and food security) may be good but “only to fool” the people.

“Teach the people how to fish should be the policy of the country. By having the job security bill, jobs would be created, the people would get the opportunity to work, earn and eat,” Rio, who is also contesting the April 9 Lok Sabha polls from Nagaland, said.

He also said that the tribals are backward because right policies were not implemented and appealed to the people to fight together against any act of injustice to the region.

The Nagaland chief minister is also the convener of the Northeast Regional Political Front (NERPF), a conglomerate of 10 regional parties from the Northeast. They came together with an intention to participate in national politics, especially to make voices of the people from the region heard in Delhi.

The NERPF has representatives from all regional parties of the Northeast — AGP (Assam), Nagaland People’s Front (Nagaland), UDP (Meghalaya), Hill State Democratic Party (Assam), Manipur People’s Party, Manipur State Congress Party and Manipur Democratic People’s Front (Manipur), People’s Party of Arunachal (Arunachal Pradesh), Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (Tripura) and Mizo National Front (Mizoram).

Rio said the NERPF had passed 17 resolutions on regional and state-specific problems that should be resolved by the central government.

Exhorting the people of Meghalaya to reject the Congress in the forthcoming elections, Rio said that people should elect candidate of the UDP from Shillong and the candidate of the National People’s Party (NPP) from Tura parliamentary constituencies.

UDP president and leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy, senior working president Bindo M. Lanong and UDP candidate Lyngdoh addressed the gathering.

NERPF meet: At a press conference Rio said the NERPF would have a meeting in Guwahati on March 23 to have a discussion on a series of issues and adopt common political strategies.

The NERPF is also expected to formally announce its support to the NDA that day. Rio said NPP national president and former Lok Sabha Speaker, Purno A. Sangma would attend the meeting. He said that he had spoken to the BJP leadership on the issue of seat sharing between the BJP and AGP in Assam.