Joel Naga, the President of the Rising People’s Party (RPP), took the stage at the Congress public rally held in Dimapur on 16 April, reiterating the RPP’s official endorsement of the Congress’s candidate. According to Joel, the RPP’s support for Congress stems from their shared commitment to key ideologies such as secularism, inclusivity, and equality.

Joel Naga
Joel Naga addressing the Congress rally in Dimapur on 16 April

“Deputy CM TR Zeliang has posed the question, ‘Do you believe Congress and RPP can defeat us?’ It’s an open challenge,” declared Joel.

“Congress lacks party workers, lacks MLAs. It’s a contest between 60 MLAs and Supongmeren. Congress is handicapped; you, the party workers, hold the power,” he emphasized to the gathered audience.

Joel went on to accuse the NDPP-BJP coalition of resorting to financial means to sway votes, asserting, “They are afraid of people’s power.”

In a direct rebuttal to CM Rio’s claims of safeguarding Christian interests and Naga identity, Joel denounced them as “outright falsehoods.”

“In twenty years, I’m yet to witness his advocacy for Naga faith and identity,” he added.

Joel also raised concerns over ‘cultural imperialism’, pointing to instances like the beef ban and Hindi imposition, criticizing the PDA government’s silence on these issues.

“This is between the RSS and the Naga people. We must not allow them victory at any cost. We must vote. We must return to our respective villages and vote,” Joel urged.

Highlighting the significance of the lone MP seat for Nagaland, he stressed, “This seat is significant. Change begins here.”

“… This should serve as a wake-up call for us all—a golden opportunity for all Nagas,” he added.

Mokokchung Times

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