Union Minister of State for Steel & Rural Development, Faggan Singh Kulaste’s visit to Mokokchung district headquarters is significant. This is perhaps the first time that a minister from the Center is coming to Mokokchung after Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, and Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, jointly inaugurated a Post Cocoon Technology Project at Sabangya, Chungtia village, Mokokchung, under the North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) of the Ministry of Textile, Government of India in February 2019.

Well, there may have been others who have visited Mokokchung in recent times, maybe even discreetly, but Kulaste’s visit is significant because his visit is a publicly open one, with even an ‘at home’ reception hosted in his honor.

The current dispensation at the Center has often claimed that the Northeast is at the center of PM Modi’s attention, and there are Union ministers and Ministers of State visiting the region almost every day. PM Modi himself is claimed to have visited the Northeast around 60 times in 9 years, which could be more than the total number of visits by all his predecessors put together.

While Kulaste’s visit to Mokokchung remains significant, it is pertinent to ask why Mokokchung has been visited so scantily by ministers from the Center. Many have visited even the remotest corners of the state, not to mention Kohima and Dimapur. Does this mean that Mokokchung is no longer relevant in the political scheme of things anymore? Could it be that the district has no favor in the corridors of power in Kohima?

It could even be that the elected members from the district, especially those in the ruling bench (although no one is in the opposition), do not have the influence necessary to ensure that the big shots from Delhi visit Mokokchung!?

For whatever reasons, Mokokchung has been lagging behind the rest of Nagaland in many areas – including visits by Central ministers. No, their visits do not mean that the district will magically transform into a developed or progressive district. It’s just that Mokokchung is made to appear irrelevant.

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