NPF not a threat: Naga Cong - Manipur pcc chief accuses outfit of backing npF's candidates during election

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  • Published 25.01.12

Imphal, Jan. 24: The Nagaland Congress does not consider it a threat if the Naga People’s Front (NPF) emerges successful in the January 28 Manipur Assembly elections.

The NPF is contesting in 12 Assembly constituencies and Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio is shuttling between the hill districts of Manipur and his state in a chopper over the past one week to campaign for NPF candidates in Manipur.

Rio addressed four election rallies in Tamenglong, Chandel and Senapati districts. He urged the Nagas to support the NPF candidates for Naga unity. He also termed Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh “anti-Naga”.

“Rio’s campaign in Manipur is for political mileage,” Tokheho Sema, leader of Nagaland Congress Legislature Party, said here today.

An eight-member team from the Nagaland PCC, headed by Tokheho Sema, paid a one-day visit to Imphal to show solidarity with the Manipur PCC and give “blessings” to Congress candidates in Manipur.

The team closeted with Gaikhangam at the latter’s office in Congress Bhawan here for about half an hour and went back to Nagaland in the afternoon.

“The NPF’s performance here cannot have any impact either in Manipur or Nagaland. They are contesting only in 12 constituencies. Twelve MLAs in a House of 60 cannot do anything or decide the fate of Manipur,” Sema told reporters at the Congress Bhawan here.

He said the victory of the NPF in Manipur would not have any impact on Nagaland during its Assembly elections.

Reacting to attacks on Congress candidates and their workers both in the valley and hills, the Nagaland Congress leader said if the militants were for the welfare of the people, such attacks should not be carried out.

While a co-ordination committee of seven militant groups was targeting Congress candidates and their workers in the valley, the NSCN (I-M) is allegedly intimidating non-NPF candidates in the hills. “The Northeast is underdeveloped because of militancy. We are lagging behind the rest of the country. While the world is marching ahead, we are today talking about how to bring development,” Sema said.

Asked if the Nagaland Congress would campaign in Manipur, the team said it would not campaign in the state.

“We do not know much of the areas, issues and people in Manipur. Without knowing these, we could not participate in election campaigns,” he said.