GoI offer ruled out separate flag and constitution: Zeliang
Kohima, April 16: The Government of India had sent its proposal on Naga political solution to the NSCN (IM) in early March this year. The proposal had reiterated that the issue of flag and Constitution is non-negotiable.
This was revealed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Opposition Leader TR Zeliang along with other MLAs during their interaction in Delhi on March 18, 2021, disclosed Zeliang at the Government organized consultative meeting on RIIN here today.
Zeliang was reportedly invited by the Chief Minister in to speak on the progress and current position of the Naga political negotiations between the Centre and Naga groups in today’s meeting.
To follow up on February 18, 2021 Nagaland Assembly resolution on Naga political issue, Zeliang said it was decided that a delegation of elected members would meet the Prime Minister and brief him and urge for amicable settlement of Naga Issue. Before leaving for Delhi on 13th March 2021, with four representatives each from the legislature party of NPF, NDPP and BJP they met the Working Committee of the 7 NNPGs at Niathu Resort Dimapur, he said.
The Chief Minister left for Delhi on the same day to seek appointment with the Prime Minister, whereas he went on March 16, said Zeliang.
While the plan was to meet the Prime Minister, an appointment could not materialize and Rio informed on March 17 that the PMO has directed them to meet the Home Minister the next day, he said.
Due to the short duration of notice, we could not call and take along our friends, as planned, and met the Home Minister with only those MLAs present in Delhi, he said.
In that meeting, “Amit Shah told us that the proposal from the Government of India has been sent to the NSCN (IM) ten days back. However, Shah reiterated that the issue of flag and constitution is non-negotiable,” Zeliang informed the consultative meeting here.
Zeliang said he also briefed Shah on the differences between the interlocutor and Governor of Nagaland RN Ravi and NSCN (IM).
“I told him that both of them are blaming each other for changing the goalpost of the Framework Agreement and this will hinder the progress of the negotiations. Also I asked the Home Minister if he would come and hoist the Naga Flag on Naga Rising Day after inking final agreement and he positively replied that he will personally come and do it,” he said.
The next day, Zeliang said they met Th. Muivah, who was of the opinion that the proposal of the GoI cannot be accepted and that there cannot be any solution without flag and constitution.
Considering both sides, Zeliang said it is apparent that the talks would be in a deadlock again after so much of effort made by all the Naga leaders with progress.
Zeliang said he has told Muivah that he should also be realistic and come to some sort of mutual understanding and reach a settlement.
Over the years, the underground groups have been mushrooming and at the moment we have 11 different groups and at this rate we will cross 15 in a few years and as long as we do not solve this issue, it would be difficult for our society to progress and move ahead, he said.
Taking the opportunity, the Opposition Leader ardently appealed to all “to seek for what is right for the Nagas and not who is right”.
“If we look at the initial stage of this Naga political movement, it was never about who is right but rather it was about what is right for the Nagas, he said while maintaining that if we look at the present scenario, how many splintered groups have taken birth and how many more are we ready to shelter?
“Isn’t it time for the Nagas, irrespective of whether, underground or overground to ponder and seek answers for the right thing and not keep asking who amongst the various groups is right for the Nagas,” he said.
“Let us be very clear of one thing and that is, unless we can bring all the Naga Political Negotiating groups together, we will not have permanent settlement and peace,” he said.
A solution which is not inclusive and forged in unity will only be temporary and result in fratricidal killings, he said.
Zeliang called upon all to take a firm decision and commit ourselves to bring all the negotiating groups together and when the final settlement is signed, no groups should be left out.
Also highlighting the initiatives of the NPF PAM meeting the NSCN (IM) on 31st August 2020 and the 7 NNPGs on 12th September 2020, he said in the course of deliberation they have assured that they are ready to meet and sit across the table and hammer out their differences.
“It is our (legislators and leaders of apex tribal bodies) responsibility to make this happen and bring them together. We cannot play moral police and keep judging and supporting one party over the other,” he said.
This will only create more division and hatred amongst us, and we will never get to see the light at the end of the tunnel, he said.
Reiterating that the elected members are for ‘One Solution’, Zeliang said this should be the aim of every Naga.
“We should learn from our past and not repeat them again and this time, be it underground or overground, settlement should be acceptable and should not give rooms for more division and bloodshed,” the Opposition leader stated. (Page News Service)