Kohima, Feb. 2: The ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) finally overcame its apprehensive phase and kick-started the election campaign for the February 23 Assembly polls with song and dance today. The music though, was not exactly in tune with the party's line.
Known as Nagas' king of rock--roll, Methanielie Solo and Naga Orpheus 2001 (Naga Idol) Kokliba Jings today sang for the NPF at PWD colony here where party president Shurhozelie Lieziestu and chief minister Neiphiu Rio spelt out the party's policies and programmes.
But when Methanielie enthralled the crowd with his most popular Nagamese song, Nagaland city koribole (To make Nagaland a city) there was irony in the air as it is about the pathetic and sorry state of affairs of Nagaland.
Also known as Elvis Presley of Nagaland, Methanielie's song speaks of a decaying society, bad governance, corruption, shabby economic condition of the people, degrading moral values, unstable Naga politicians. Kokliba was the next to belt out famous rock band Queen's hit song We Are the Champions.
While the NPF talked about development, the song detailed pathetic roads even in the state capital and wondered about the hollow claims of making Nagaland a city. The party leaders must have hoped that every connotation and message of the artiste do not get home to the voters.
The NPF then assured the gathering of a free concert for the voters if Dr Nicky Kire was elected. Kire, a medical professional, is a singer too and chairman of the music task force in the state.
The NPF candidate said he is a "man of deeds and not words" and assured the people that he would work harder for the welfare of Kohima town constituency. After former chief minister J.B. Jasokie, no candidate has won twice from this constituency. The NPF appealed to the voters to script history by voting the NPF candidate to power again.
NPF president Shurhozelie asked people to vote for the party that delivers. He said people have seen rapid development during the last 10 years of the NPF-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government.
He said the NPF had asked the Centre not to hold the elections before a solution to the long-pending Naga political problem, but the Centre did not heed this. However, they would continue to pursue a solution, he added.
Rio said the NPF was a pro-people party, which had provided a stable government for 10 years and was looking for a third innings. He said his party would fight for the rights of Naga people, "unlike the Congress which had betrayed the people". On the Naga political issue, he said the party was committed to pursuing the matter through non-violence. He said that even if the issue of sovereignty takes some time, "the world has already recognised the Nagas".