KOHIMA: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Sunday greeted people on the occasion of the 57th Statehood Day, contending that the long-awaited solution to the vexed Naga political issue might be in sight.
Addressing people at Khouchiezie (Kohima local ground), where the India Reserve Battalion had organised a programme on the occasion, he said negotiations between Naga Political Groups and the Centre have concluded and people of the state were set to witness "history" very soon.
"We (Nagas) are on the verge of history being made; we could be very close to a final solution. Negotiations between the various Naga Political Groups and the Centre have concluded," he said.
Meanwhile, Governor R N Ravi, in his welcome address at the 20th Hornbill Festival here, said Nagaland is "on the cusp of history", and a "new dawn" is beckoning for the state.
Ravi is also the Centre's interlocutor for Naga peace talks.
Among others present at Khouchiezie were Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton, Chief Secretary Temjen Toy and a host of cabinet ministers.
"We are filled with gratefulness today as we remember the visionary leaders who made sacrifices for Nagaland's statehood," the chief minister said.
Rio conveyed his appreciation to "all negotiating parties for their magnanimity, the spirit of understanding and foresightedness" to achieve a breakthrough in the Naga political talks.
"The long-awaited solution to the Naga political issue seems to be within grasp and that fills us with anticipation and happiness.
This should also make the Nagas realise that huge responsibility lies on them to ensure that every step taken is in the right direction," the chief minister stated.
He clarified that his "government was steadfast in its commitment to ensure progress and development of the people of the state in all spheres".
Maintaining that agriculture continued to be the main occupation of the Nagas, he said the government had been promoting organic farming in the state as it would "double the income of the farmers".
"More than 1, 42,603 small and marginal farmers have been added to the list of PM-Kisan beneficiaries. An amount of about Rs 54. 60 crore have been directly deposited to the individual accounts of the farmers," he said.
Rio called upon the people of the state to work steadfastly towards making Nagaland one of the most admired and developed states of the country.
The beautiful landscape of Nagaland and its rich and vibrant culture made the state one of the most interesting tourist destinations in the country, he said.
"We are continuously working towards improving and scaling up the tourism sector in the state," he added.