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CM says Centre recognizes Nagas’ right to integration

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Ravi arriving to stage political drama before LS polls: NPF

Kohima, February 22: Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio today stated that the Union Government has recognized Naga people’s right to integration.
The CM told the Assembly that the Centre recognizes Naga people’s right to integration and that talks are underway and therefore no one should politicize the issue. He also called upon the members to be present on February 27 to meet Centre’s Interlocutor RN Ravi and hear about the progress of the peace process with the Naga groups.
Leader of Opposition TR Zeliang said deafening silence of Governor P B Acharya on the issue of integration of Naga contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella is a worrisome factor. “Are we giving up on our legitimate right to be integrated?” he asked.
Zeliang said the softening stand of the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government on the integration issue sets a dangerous precedence for Nagas and their future.
He also informed that Nagaland Assembly has since 1964 adopted seven resolutions on the integration but cautioned that if the State Government wants to deliberately ignore the issue, there was no point in passing resolutions. “Let us not forget that point 13 of the 16 Point Agreement which gave birth to the State of Nagaland specifically makes a mention on the integration of Naga contiguous areas,” he reminded the House.
On the progress of the Naga peace process, Zeliang said PDA Government has not done anything other than conventional practices of setting up Joint Legislators’ Forum, adding it would do well for the Government to specify what concrete steps they have taken to help resolve the Naga political issue in their 11 months of Government.
“Recalling the statement of the Hon’ble Governor delivered before the media on March 6, 2018 where he announced that the Naga political issue would be resolved within six months, I can only say that his statement presented to this august House is yet another artificial solace to the pain and sufferings of the Naga people as he failed to refer to what he had stated at Raj Bhavan before the media,” the NPF leader said.
Zeliang said the promise of BJP “Election for solution” was nothing but empty rhetorical statement which is an insult to the Nagas as a whole, and to add to the insult the former Union HRD Minister and currently a member of the BJP manifesto team Sanjay Ram Paswan said Naga issue will be resolved only after the Lok Sabha election.
“It is very unbecoming of any party to try to score political points taking the genuine struggle and demands of the Nagas,” he stated.
Meanwhile the Opposition NPF lambasted the Centre’s interlocutor Ravi and the BJP for alleged double speak on the Naga political issue.
NPF legislator Kuzholuzo Nienu castigated the statement of Ravi that Union Government will no more hold talks with militant groups of the northeast and that the Government is ready to fight to dead. “Who is R N Ravi to challenge the people of the northeast,” he asked and demanded an apology from Ravi. He also expressed surprised no Naga groups had reacted to the statement of Government’s interlocutor. He also demanded explanation from Ravi about his statement.
Nienu said Ravi’s plan to visit State on February 26 & 27 is only to stage a political drama before the Lok Sabha poll and gain political mileage. He asked members of the Assembly to be united on the issue.
Another senior NPF member Yitachu also criticized BJP leaders for contradicting statements on Naga issue and questioned the sincerity of the Union Government. (Page News Service)

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