From political uncertainty to the general polls, coming back of Neiphiu Rio as CM, from passing away of Khole Konyak to Hornbill Festival, 2018 was a year of hopes, aspirations and excitement.
After the announcement of State Assembly polls 2018, political uncertainty began in Nagaland when party leaders raised question over the leadership of incumbent Chief Minister TR Zeliang.
Janata Dal (United) broke its 15-year-old alliance with Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN), led by Naga People’s Front (NPF) ahead of the polls.
Rio also quit the NPF to lead the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
The crisis deepened when 9 former NPF lawmakers resigned from the Assembly to join NDPP which formed alliance with the BJP.
Finally after February 28 polls, due to anti-incumbency factor, the NPF could win only 27 seats out of 60 while the alliance managed to cross the 31-mark.
Even after emerging as the single largest party, the NPF failed to form Government and the Governor called the NDPP-led alliance to form Government with support of BJP, NPP, JDU and an Independent candidate.
Neiphiu Rio Government took charge on March 7 with the promise of bringing change in the State. However, people of the State are yet to see any such major change.
Ahead of the Assembly elections, bandh call to boycott the Assembly polls, churches calling not to vote for the RSS-backed BJP, NIA racking up an old case against TR Zeliang also made headlines.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 22 had announced that solution to the long-pending Naga political issue was just a few months away, but the issue still sees no solution
After taking charge, Rio Cabinet created 13 political posts in the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister’s Office to accommodate political favours which was strongly opposed by the opposition.
Director General of Police (DGP) Rupin Sharma had to face the axe of the new Government.
Deputy Chief Minister and in-charge of the Home Department, Y. Patton wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with details about reasons of seeking Sharma’s ouster.
Patton termed Sharma as an inexperienced officer who superseded his seniors.
There was also a campaign to retain Rupin Sharma as the DGP.
The Lok Sabha by-election which was necessitated after resignation of Neiphiu Rio, recorded over 75 pc voting. NDPP candidate Tokheho Yepthomi won the by-election to the State’s lone Lok Sabha constituency by 173,746 votes.
On the other hand, in an important development which could have ramification on the Naga political leaders, the Gauhati High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into Nagaland High Court scam.
A public rally held at Tuensang on July 13 to give a momentum to the demand for a ‘Frontier Nagaland’ State by the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) was joined by a large number of people. On the other hand, intensifying its demand, ENPO also conducted a ‘public referendum’ on September 14 at Tuensang.
On June 17 this year, at least two security personnel were killed when suspected militants ambushed them at Aboi town in Mon district of the State.
Along with other States, ban on formalin-faced fishes in Nagaland also made headlines.
On June 25, Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) seized over 5000 kgs of fish treated with formalin from the outskirt of Kohima during wee hours.
The Food Safety officials from Health and Family Welfare Department intercepted four pick-up trucks and seized 5280 kgs of fishes and later the Government banned formalin-laced fishes in the State.
This year incessant rains and landslides created havoc throughout the State damaging several roads, property and claiming several lives.
The Nagaland Government stated that it required funds of an estimated Rs 800 crore for the restoration work. Twelve people were killed, over 5,000 houses damaged and 600-odd people had to take shelter in the relief camps.
The ruling Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government led by NDPP set a new trend taking a decision to hold Cabinet meetings in all the districts.
The decision was taken to give ample opportunity to the people in governance and take the Government to the doorsteps of the people.
In protest against alleged influx of illegal immigrants, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) organised a public rally on August 24 in Kohima.
On September 4 night, the biggest church in Asia, situated in Zunheboto, was robbed off by some miscreants and Rs 10 lakh was taken away.
Recovery of the body of a missing Police Inspector, who was posted at Pfutsero town, near Pfutsero on September 15, shocked all. The 5 Nagaland Armed Police Inspector Neiphretuo Metsieo had earlier reported gone missing. Later the killer and his associate was arrested and sent to jail.
On September 21, the State Assembly unanimously decided to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe into the status of agreement with Civil Engineers Enterprise Pvt. Ltd (CEEPL) Kolkata as the Government was losing Rs 23 crore annually.
On December 12, veteran Naga nationalist leader and vice chairman of the NSCN (IM), Khole Konyak, passed away on December 12 in a hospital in New Delhi.
With the launch of Tourist Police, Nagaland emerged as the second State in the Northeast to have such a force.
The 10-day-long Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, which was attended by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, drew a whopping 2,51,701 number of visitors. The State Government had sanctioned Rs. 5 crore for the festival of festivals.
On December 19, the Joint Legislators’ Forum urged the Central Government to expedite the Naga peace process.
And to keep the festive mode alive, Nagaland along with rest of the world celebrated Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, with a spirit of togetherness, joy and religious fervour.