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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Rio's effort to convince Rajnath Singh to defer polls fails; Centre to go ahead with elections

Saturday, 13 January 2018 12:13
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Kohima, January 12: The Union Government has decided to go ahead with election in the state despite requests from the State Government and Naga Organisations.

The last effort made by Chief Minister, T R Zeliang and former Chief Minister and now Lok Sabha MP, Neiphiu Rio to convince the Central leaders to defer the polls has failed. Sources said the Centre has decided to go ahead with the polls as per the Constitution of India.

Rio, who met Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh this evening in New Delhi was briefed about the Centre's stand and that election will be held. The MP was accompanied by former State BJP President, Dr. Chuba Ao and senior BJP points-man, Ram Madhav. 

A source said Rio briefed Home Minister about the situation in the home front and the need to defer the poll to facilitate the peace process. 

Rio explained at length the sequence of events of the Naga issue leading to its present crucial stage. He was of the opinion that it was the appropriate time for resolving the decades old Naga Political Issue, as majority of the stakeholders are a part of the peace talks.

The meeting also appreciated the genuine concern and efforts of the GoI towards finding an honourable settlement to the Naga Political problem, whilst respecting the Constitution of the country and its electoral obligations

Recently, Zeliang also called on Rajnath and urged the Centre to defer the polls. 

Several Naga organisations including the Naga Hoho have asked the Union Government to defer the election so that peace process is not disrupted. 

Several political parties and NGOs in 1998 made similar demands, the call, which was never accepted by the Centre. In 1998 the call of Naga people was "Solution not election" but this time it is "Solution before election". 

The contention of the state Government and Naga groups was that elections in Nagaland is costly and that elected people would not like to simply vacate their chairs in the event of solution to Naga problem which is expected soon.

So far the Centre has not given timeframe to resolve the protracted Naga political problem, even as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had promised to resolve the issue within 18 months when he became PM in 2014. 

But sources said the Centre has given a brake to the peace process with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) to take onboard the other militant groups so that impending solution could be inclusive as desired by the people. (Page News Service)


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