Kohima: The state government organised a grand farewell programme for PB Acharya, the outgoing governor of Nagaland and Manipur, at the state banquet hall in Kohima on Thursday evening.
Acharya, who took charge of the constitutional head of the state on July 19, 2014 becoming the 18th governor of Nagaland, will be replaced by RN Ravi, the chief interlocutor for Naga peace talks.
Chief secretary Temjen Toy, who chaired the ceremony, called Acharya as the “people’s governor” and recalled how the Raj Bhavan was always open for people from all walks of life — which recorded the maximum number of visits under his regime.
Deputy chief minister Y Patton, in his welcome address, reiterated Acharya’s famous quote, “Nagaland is rich but Nagas are poor”, which, according to Patton, is an eye-opener for Nagas. He also lauded Acharya for “smoothly handling the political situation under the ambit of the Indian Constitution”.
Leader of Opposition, TR Zeliang, recalled the Framework Agreement (FA) between the Union government and NSCN (IM) GPRN signed on August 3, 2015, which is now joined by seven Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) and said that Acharya had played his role in these important events first-hand which makes him an “integral part of Naga history”.
“Acharya will be known for always encouraging and facilitating private investors to our state. His genuine concern for the weaker and underprivileged sections of society is evident from all his activities,” said Rio, adding: “You will be fondly remembered as the people’s governor.”
Rio further thanked Kavita Acharya for being the most gracious and welcoming first lady of the state and commended her contributions towards the students with her experience as an educationist where she took the trouble to go to schools and personally taught the students.
Meanwhile, Acharya expressed gratitude to the chief minister for organising a grand farewell for him. Taking the stage, Acharya narrated his first visit to the state as a student leader in 1967 during the reign of P Shilu Ao, the first chief minister.
Expressing that he had always opened the door of the Raj Bhavan to all sections of the society, particularly the weaker sections, he expressed his contentment in empowering the people. “Unless the weaker link is strengthened, society cannot be strong. The self-centred mindset of the Nagas must be done away with to empower the Nagas,” he added.
“Nagaland can be made strong only by Nagas, and it was a privilege for a non-Naga like me to serve Nagaland,” Acharya added.