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PDA candidate Murry will be voice of Nagas in Lok Sabha if elected

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KOHIMA, April 1: People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) consensus candidate, Chumben Murry said he would be the voice of the people in matters relating to Naga political issue, concerns over CAA, UCC, FMR and developmental requirements if voted as next Lok Sabha MP from Nagaland.

Elections to the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland will be held on April 19. Three candidates – Murry, Congress nominee S Supongmeren Jamir and Independent candidate Hayithung Tungoe Lotha – are in the fray.

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“If elected being the consensus candidate of the 60 legislators of the state, I will represent their wisdom and also be the voice of the people on the issues concerning the state with the primary focus on facilitating the Naga political issue,” Murry told PTI in an interview.

On the Naga issue, Murry the official nominee of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) for the lone parliamentary seat said, “We will not be directly negotiating with the Centre but at the same time we have to keep the yearning of the people for a solution alive.”

He said the Congress is banking on alleged Christian atrocities across India and its slogan is more or less anti-BJP but “We (NDPP) are a regional party and we will represent Nagaland for its people and the issues that concern all of us”.

“BJP-led NDA government is a centralist government so it formulates law according to the needs of the country but sometimes such decisions do not go well with the unique structure like ours. We have a unique history and also a totally different culture and customary system,” he said.

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On state Congress’ accusation that the BJP-backed candidate would not be able to oppose the BJP government’s decision to implement Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Murry said Nagas are protected to have their own ways of living through Article 371(A) of the Constitution but the UCC conflicts with that and therefore Nagas have to be exempted from it.

He expressed confidence and happiness that the Centre has assured to exempt Nagaland from UCC.

“Issues like UCC and scrapping of Free Movement Regime along Indo-Myanmar border will have to be taken up in Parliament, apart from the Naga Political Issue,” he said.

The CAA is outwardly a good Act but Nagaland is protected from outsiders coming and owning properties under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1883, he said.

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“CAA is not a very serious issue for us but it should not be exploited by outsiders. We have to be vigilant,” he said.

Expounding his vision for youth and women of the state if elected as an MP, he said as of now Nagaland is not very comfortable with its own resources so it has to depend on the Centre.

For the women, he said the state government has already set 33 per cent reservation in the Urban Local Bodies, providing better opportunity for them to be in decision making bodies and work for the upliftment of women.

The NDA government is coming back at the Centre, he claimed and said the youths, for their future and all other developmental activities, must flow with the time.

He expressed confidence that with BJP-led NDA returning at Centre Nagaland would see much more progress in the next five years.

On Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules and Regulation, he said due to the relationship gap in the past, the Centre claimed that Petroleum and Natural Gas comes under the Centre’s subject and the state does not have the authority.

Strongly supporting that Nagaland has the authority to frame petroleum rules and regulations under 371A, Murry said once in parliament he would make efforts to bring an understanding among the central leaders on the matter.

On Congress’ allegation that the RSS-BJP has forced the coming together of the 60 MLAs but without any outcome, he said the Congress’ impression is wrong as a regional party in the state, we have never been forced by the Centre.

“We are an entity, and we represent the Naga people, so it is a different issue. But as a state, we are resource-crunch and don’t have money to develop ourselves and so we have to rely on the Centre. And in this situation, with the NDA set to come back to the Centre, the relationship is working well with the Nagas,” he said.

On Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation demand for Frontier Nagaland Territory, Murry was in line with chief minister Neiphiu Rio in accepting that there are deficiencies in line with education, infrastructure development, etc in the area.

All these issues are “very genuine” and they have to be uplifted either by way of certain packages or giving them autonomy, he said.

On peoples’ fear of scrapping of Article 371A like the abrogation of Article 370 of Jammu & Kashmir, he expressed confidence that it will not happen because the two Articles are “totally different”.  (PTI)

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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