Centre committed to Naga peace process, says Sonia Gandhi

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 07, 2013 14:50 hrs

Mokokchung, (Nagaland), Feb 7 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday said here the central government is committed to finding a solution to the six-decade-old Naga problem and taking the peace process forward.

She was addressing a rally as part of campaigning for the Feb 23 assembly polls in the state.

Sonia Gandhi, who addressed another election rally at Dimapur district, the main commercial hub of Nagaland, accused the ruling Naga People's Front-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government of corruption and betrayal of the people of this mountainous state.

"The centre is committed to take the Naga peace process forward and to finalising the ongoing talks between the NSCN (I-M) (National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah) and the Indian government at the earliest," Gandhi said, while formally launching the party campaign here for assembly elections in Nagaland.

"It was not the BJP-led NDA government but the Congress-led government who took a bold decision to invite the NSCN (I-M) leaders for talks to sort out their issues and to bring an era of peace and development in Nagaland," the Congress chief said.

Gandhi, dressed in a colourful Naga 'mekhela' (skirt) and shawl, said that the Congress has always been committed to preserving the Naga identity and developing the Naga way of life, which has been enshrined in the Article 371 of the constitution that protects the Naga tradition, land and resources.

Urging the people of Nagaland to make a wise choice and vote for the Congress in the Feb 23 polls, the UPA chairperson accused the ruling Naga People's Front-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government of betraying the people by indulging in corruption.

"The Congress-led UPA government at the centre under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has granted huge public funds for agriculture, education, infrastructure, health service, water supply and electricity, which have been siphoned off by the NPF government," Sonia Gandhi said.

"The misuse Rs.72 crore for development of the Sovima Cricket Stadium and Rs.233 crore provided for rural electrification were just a few examples of the corruption of the NPF-led DAN government, and the cause of your misery," Gandhi said.

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