Kohima, Feb 22: If Assembly elections in Nagaland are all about strengthening democracy, it is also about ensuring permanent peace in the insurgent-affected state. Political parties and people hope that this year's Assembly polls will resolve the Naga problem and usher lasting peace in the state. Most ticket seekers in the Nagaland People's Front (NPF), the former ruling party in Nagaland, have sought to get the party's nomination by advocating peace.
The party has claimed that during its five-year rule in the state it tried to facilitate the peace process. It is looking for support from people on the same issue again. The party realizes that unless permanent peace is established in the state, no development can take place, and the huge potential of the people and the state's resources will remain under utilized. "We have been committed to continue to strive for a solution to the Naga political problem. We will continue to play the role of the mediator to bring together the conflicting parties to conference table or for a political dialogue," said Shurhozelie, the President of the NPF. The Congress Party is propounding the same agenda. The party is claiming to be at the forefront in advocating peace in the state and bringing the conflicting parties on the negotiating table.
The party is pinning its hope on the March 5 elections, and believes that for a better future and for a better result out of the Look East Policy, the five-decade old Naga problem should be resolved. "While we talk about the political agenda, I want to tell that the Congress party has been consistently following the policy of reconciliation, unity and permanent political settlement, acceptable to all the Nagas," said I.Imkong, leader, Congress Legislative Party.
People too want concrete results. Ayanai, a professional, wants to make it big in life while living in Nagaland. For that she feels there is a need for a conducive atmosphere and rapid economic development. Rokose, a housewife, said: "Now it is election time, candidates are talking big, but we want to see real development. We want someone, who can bring peace and development." By Vibou Ganguly