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Intending candidate Hopingson Shimray announces vision for Nagas, tribals

With time ticking closer to the ensuing Manipur State Legislative Assembly Election likely to be held early next year, intending NPF candidate Hopingson A Shimray from Marao village in Phungyar Assembly constituency sat down with Ukhrul based media persons Tuesday in a rare moment at UDWJA office to talk about his visions for the aspirations of the Nagas and tribals of the state.

Shimray, who resigned from his covetous position as financial advisor & chief accounts officer (F&B-IRS) in April last, to contest the forthcoming polls shared his  motivations for joining politics, seeking Naga People's Front (NPF) ticket and his vision for the future of the people.

On being quizzed about his turning to a politician from a reputed bureaucrat, he said "For me, joining politics was not an overnight decision, I had it in mind and has been straining for it since 2012".

Any vision cannot be fulfilled overnight and I have since been waiting for the right opportunity to realize the aspirations of my people, he continued and added " Of course, there are leaders and politicians but they have miserably failed to plead for the cause of the Nagas and tribal people. "

On seeking NPF ticket, he categorically stated that he has rejected downright offers to join other political parties. " Based on Naga aspirations and political vision, NPF is the only common platform for the Nagas especially at this juncture of progress, Shimray asserted referring to the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process.

Hailing from a tiny village of about 20 households back in his school days, pursuing education was such a struggle for him and most people of that time. "Owing to abject poverty, my parents could not afford even basic needs for my studies, while I walked long distances from Ukhrul to Imphal crossing Litan to attend my classes, " he related and added "I had experienced enough what poverty is and I know how many such poor families are still suffering today."

" I desire to raise my people to the status of one chosen by God, as evident from the fact that US missionary William Pettigrew brought the light of Christianity to the Tangkhul Naga tribe during the chieftainship of Raihao in Ukhrul fulfilling a prophesy in the forth generation," he said adding that as such Tangkhuls must lead a self reliant, abundant life.

To ensure prosperity under Act East Policy, the people of Ukhrul must look for  ways to open gateways to Myanmar, he advocated adding that the people must also concentrate on horticulture and floriculture in place of traditional jhum cultivation.

Charting success roadmap for NPF in the ensuing polls, he said that the party is gearing to secure a majority of 11 seats and with the support of other 8 tribal MLAs, NPF will stake claim to form HAC to ensure that the Article 371 C is implemented in letter and spirit in the next term.

For years, party line politics has hampered smooth implementation of the provision of Article 371 C in the State, he noted.

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Lester Makang's picture

Ukhrul, Manipur

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