Erase Forest Minister’s remarks from Assembly records: NPCC President

NPCC President, S Supongmeren Jamir at the press conference in the Congress Bhawan, Dimapur, on September 15. (Morung Photo)

NPCC President, S Supongmeren Jamir at the press conference in the Congress Bhawan, Dimapur, on September 15. (Morung Photo)

Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 15 

The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) President, S Supongmeren Jamir said that the comment of the Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, CL John on the human-animal conflict in Bhandari, Wokha district, was disrespectful. Jamir, along with party workers, addressed a press conference in Dimapur on Septembers 15, after wrapping up the second leg of the NPCC’s state tour. 

The state Forest Minister courted controversy on the second day of the monsoon session of the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly, while responding to a query related to human-animal conflict in Merapani, Wokha district. The query was raised by NPF MLA, Achumbemo Kikon, who represents the 40 Bhandari seat. 

In his response, John remarked, “As per my report, elephants have killed only eight humans while humans have killed 12 elephants. So, humans are winning and there's nothing to worry." Following the comment, which drew widespread condemnation, he returned to the Assembly tendering “unconditional” apology on September 14. 

Jamir, while acknowledging the apology, said that the Minister’s utterance was disrespectful not only to the affected community but also to the Nagas in general and against the sanctity of the House (Assembly). He said, “That kind of words should not be entered in the record of the Assembly because it is totally against the sanctity of the floor of the house.” 

On another note, he appreciated the state government for resolving, in the Assembly, not to implement the Uniform Civil Code and the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 2023. He said that the state government understood the sentiments of the people of Nagaland. 

He was asked if the government would have come up with a straightforward statement than coating the resolution on the amendment in obscure legal lingo, Jamir replied that the resolution implied the process has started reflecting the sentiment of the people in the floor of the Assembly. 

On the Congress’ intention, he said that the party is concerned with the career and future of the youth. According to him, the state’s young educated unemployed and the intellectuals, who have the calibre to lead and affect change, are not getting the opportunity because the state is not giving them the opportunity. He claimed that the Congress, with the human resource within its fold, has the capacity to go down to the grassroots and fulfill the “aspirations of our youth.” “They are on the job to find out, how to bring the problems under one banner and resolve them.”

Queried on the party electoral prospects in the Lok Sabha polls slated in 2024, President, Capt GK Zhimomi said that the INDIA bloc is already in motion at the national level and at the state level, he added that discussions are on with likeminded parties. “People are literally fed up of the communal politics of the regional parties playing to the gallery of BJP and that is where the Congress in Nagaland, we see an advantage and we see an opening,” Zhimomi said.