As we gear up for the important election to the 17th Lok Sabha, the National People’s Party has set its agenda for the Northeast. The people of the region are aware that we are a party committed to the cause of the tribal, minorities and the marginalised section of the society. In the past seven years, we have continuously raised the concerns of the people of Northeast at every platform.
Late Purno Agitok Sangma served the nation in different capacities for the welfare and progress of India. Irrespective of the position held in the central government, he always stood for the tribals, Christian, other minorities and weaker section of the society. Though he represented Meghalaya’s Garo Hills in the Parliament, Late Sangma ji epitomized the spirit of Northeast at the corridors of power in Delhi.
He told the nation that the tribal and the minorities of India deserves a “political say”. The different tribes and communities of the Northeast are considered as ‘microscopic population’ but with his tall figure in India’s political arena, he demonstrated that Northeast may be small in size and population but the courage and gusto of the people is strong. He had earned the reputation as a strongman of “Northeast” and had worked with different political parties to protect and safeguard the rights of minorities, tribal and the weaker section of the society.
Today, the party founded by Late Sangma ji has expanded its reach in different states of the region with a focus to champion the cause of the Northeast and its people. The 17th Lok Sabha election is a test for the party as it will be contesting in multiple states of the region with a view to increasing its representation in the Parliament.
The party has set a simple but a very powerful agenda of “One Voice, One Northeast” for the 2019 Lok Sabha election with a view to consolidating the voice and aspirations of the people of Northeast at a single platform. If given the mandate, the party would push for a strong political voice from the region to safeguard the interest and ensure welfare and development of Northeast.
The core agenda of the party are:-
The party would envisage on the potential that lies in the rural areas of the Northeast and would push for a holistic development of the rural economy with particular focus on agriculture, horticulture, and allied sector. We want our farmers to be progressive, innovative and enterprising.
There is a need to strengthen rural infrastructure in the social sector including health and education and the party would continue to focus on the core priority and would work to create an enabling atmosphere to promote education and health care facilities in the rural areas of the region.
We would focus to create facilities that would revolve around agri and horti sector to create employment opportunities for our people.
Educated youth in North-Eastern parts of India have developed a sense of insecurity due to lack of job space in the region. Many educated and ambitious youth are forced to move to different parts of the country for want of job and better career. The ill-effects of unemployment have been a cause of worry and calls for serious attention. The feeling of alienation and neglect is felt by the youth, as they have to confront a difficult situation once they complete their education. In most states of North East, there are few private companies and enterprises, which could have otherwise generated employment. The space in the government sector is also very poor that has aggravated the situation. This call for serious attention for investment in private business enterprises in sectors like tourism, hospitality, agriculture and other allied sectors, where the youth can be employed. Unemployment scenario has induced a state of hopelessness amongst the youth. There is no direction for them, hence an ambitious policy to win over the minds of the youth is one of the topmost priority of NPP, which envisages empowering the youth with different business and livelihood opportunities linked to the rich natural resources of the region. Our Universities and Institutions have successfully provided degrees to a vast number of students. However, they have failed to make them employable. For instance, most agriculture, horticulture and veterinary graduates among others look for government sector jobs and fail to realise that there are potential for private enterprises. The priority of our party will be to engage educated youth and professionals to harness on the opportunities, which is ample in the region. There is a need to push and leverage our youth with a positive mindset so that they can look beyond government sector and engage in activities, which will make them employable as well as make them entrepreneurs by way of which they would create jobs for many others as well.
North East India is a kaleidoscope of cultural and linguistic diversity. Each state of the region has its distinctive heritage and tradition. It is a melting pot of indigenous communities and their faith. It is a place renowned for its magical natural beauty and bewildering bio-diversity, home to more than 166 separate tribes speaking a wide range of languages, rich flora and fauna. A truly frontier region, it shares over 2000 km of border with Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The region has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons including insurgency, influx, corruption and ethnic strife. Though the region share similarities and cultural ties with South East Asian nation, the true potential of North East is yet to usher in an era of growth and development. The region still has to do a lot to catch up with the rest of India. There is an economic disparity in North East and the region needs utmost attention in sectors like – education, healthcare, tourism, agriculture, animal husbandry, power, petroleum and other industries. The socio-economic parameter portrays a dismal picture on the lack of development, growth and progress in North East. It is surprising that even after 75 years of India’s Independence North East as a whole has been a “dependent state” and has not been able to take a jump in its growth trajectory.
Agriculture and Logistics
Agriculture and Logistics
Agriculture sector is vital to human existence and food security. As per studies and estimates, approximately 36 percent of the people of North East are below the poverty line. Several studies have shown that those who live below the poverty line are unable to buy enough food. In almost all the states of North East, the availability of all the food items taken together are much below the standard as recommended for a healthy life. A natural corollary of this situation is widespread nutrition deficiency. The situation speaks volumes on the urgent need to ensure food security to the people. The emerging global trend revolves on sustainable agricultural practice as a means of livelihood. It is in this context that the National People’s Party would lay its importance and thrust on the indigenous agricultural practices, which are climate friendly and also replicate ideas and scientific interventions to boost agriculture. There is a huge advancement in the agriculture sector, however, a lot of intervention is required to link our producers and farmers of different agri-horti and allied sectors to the market.b In most North-Eastern states, the agricultural produces are organic by nature and are sold in the nearest market directly from the farm. There is a need to create hope amongst our farmers so that they are able to innovate their agriculture products and add value, which will result in better returns. There is also a need to tag and brand our farm produces, which would create stories of our products regionally, nationally and globally. Our commitment is very clear that the agriculture sector would be an important area to propel development and ensure economic stability and food security. The core area of intervention will be –
Agriculture and Environment Animal Husbandry and Fishery Food Technology and Balancing Agricultural outputs Marketing linkage and Economic Stability.
The education scenario is poor and dismal in many parts of our country. The quality of education has posed a major hurdle for development. For want of better education many communities, particularly the indigenous people are left behind. NPP embarks upon a responsibility to touch the lives of the indigenous people in particular and the minorities of the country. If a nation has to grow, the education sector needs to be strengthened. There are several initiatives and intervention to improve the education scenario of the country. However, most of these schemes have not percolated down to the vulnerable and marginalized section of the society. NPP has taken up education as a core priority to reach out to the unreached and ensure an equitable opportunity for educating the indigenous people along with other communities. The party underlines the principle of ensuring holistic development of the society with emphasis on elementary, secondary to higher education vis-à-vis professional and vocational education system. Education is crucial for helping indigenous people cope with national integration. Education will determine their prosperity, success and security in life..
Climate change poses a real challenge to our society, our economy and our national security. We are committed to combatting climate change, which affects our children, our future and us. We are committed to promote clean and sustainable energy and provide alternative livelihood opportunities to our people, particularly those dependent on jhum and other forms of traditional agricultural practices, which poses a threat to our ecosystem. Our endeavour will be to mitigate climate change and protect the rich natural resources and ensure that the quality of our air, water, and land for current and future generations. From investing in clean energy to protecting our ecosystems, NPP as a party is working to address the biggest environmental challenges, paving the way to a sustainable India. India a signatory to the historic Paris Agreement and has an onus and responsibility to shoulder. There is an urgent need to protect our planet for future generation and we feel that our people have to be sensitized, so that each one of us is able to contribute and reduce their carbon footprints.
The prevailing scenario of healthcare facilities in India is a major challenge for the people, especially those living below the poverty line and the marginalized section. For want of medical attention, many people in rural areas and unreached hilly region of our country die due to different life threatening diseases. We as a party are very much concerned and aware of the issues that affects everyone. We believe that by putting our thrust on this very important subject, we will be able to address the concern of our people, particularly those who are not able to afford the high cost of medical treatment. Private healthcare services are a costly affair in India. Hence, we would like to ensure that the government health care facilities are strengthened to deal with the challenge that is ahead of us. We would take up the agenda of healthcare as a core issue to touch the lives of our people. We want to provide medical security and healthcare facilities to the common man.
Women Centric Issues
Women Centric Issues
IGender parity in India has always been a focus for the party. We believe in the principle of equal pay for equal work when it comes to empowerment through employment. Gender justice in terms of not only women’s rights but also being inclusive of gender identities and recognition of such has been something NPP believes in advocating for. We as a party believe in being sensitive to the unique needs of the women when it comes to healthcare, education, decent work, political and economic participation and decision-making. NPP strongly advocates for ease of access to legal services and encourages psychosocial support for victims of sexual and gender violence. We believe that women and gender minorities should be given special attention in order to become a truly democratic and equitable nation. Empowerment through employment and skill enhancement by way of cultivating their own traditional knowledge systems is something NPP believes in. We as a party believe that women’s role in developing and shaping a nation is crucial. And therefore, we would strive to work for gender justice in all areas concerned.