‘Naga people should come out to expedite political negotiation’

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It maybe recalled that I was the first during the 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly tenure who stated that the election to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly be differed in view of the ongoing Political Dialogue between the NSCN-IM the 6 (Six) NNPG groups and the Govt. of India, so as to arrive at a amicable settlement to the Naga Political issue. Later on all the NGOs, Civil societies, individuals and the Govt. of Nagaland had given clarion call to the Govt. of India to differ the election for settlement of the Naga Political Issue. The 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly had gone to the extent of passing a strong resolution unanimously to differ the election which was strongly supported and endorsed by the Parliamentarians, ex-parliamentarians and all the legislature and submitted the memorandum to the Govt. of India. However, the Govt. of India has a different opinion stating that “Election for Solution”. Immediately I have responded to that stated position to give us the timeline if election is meant for solution, which the Govt. of India could not specify the timeline.
The people of Nagaland have given a fractured mandate and formed a fragile coalition Government-with BJP having 6 (six) Cabinet Ministers, NDPP 4 (four|), JDU 1 (one) and 1 (one) Independent. The NPF perhaps, secured the highest percentage of votes even though short of a absolute majority in the House. The political scenario in the state politic today (13th House) stands divided. The motivation of the BJP Govt. at the centre was to install a BJP-led Govt. in the State so as to relegate the Naga issue to the back burner. The Political Talks which was going on progressively has been stalled as desired by the BJP party at the Centre. In the ultimate analysis it is evident that the Naga political issue has become the victim. As of today all political parties and NGOs has remained a mute spectator giving their focus only on the new fragile coalition Govt. at Kohima.
As for me election to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly is always secondary to the Naga issue. In brief, since 1955, I have witnessed physically the Naga uprising and the brute force exerted upon by the Govt. of India on the Nagas, inflicting unaccounted loss of lives, properties and energy etc during the course of the 70 years of struggle. I have witnessed by myself the killings and untold military atrocities committed upon the innocent Nagas throughout. I being a village product have borne the brute force inflicted on the villagers which still lingers afresh in my mind. In short my anxiety to find a early amicable settlement of the Naga Political Issue is the biggest concern, as such Election to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, according to me is only a routine matter.
No doubt the Govt. of India interlocutor, Shri. R.N. Ravi has put in his utmost efforts to iron out the various divergent opinions of the Naga negotiating groups, which is fully appreciated. Yet, he is also only an instrument in the hands of the Govt. of India and therefore has its own limits. I have also issued a press statement on 5th August 2015 welcoming the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Govt. of India and the NSCN-IM which I presume, was an alignment or a roadmap as to how negotiation should go about. There is no doubt that there are important and critical issues apparently, to be hammered out only by the Govt. of India which regretfully stands relegated. These were some of the impediments I have foreseen and therefore I had stated that the State Election be differed in view of the Naga Political Dialogue and its settlement. Many people thought that we were only talking in order to gain political mileage during the Assembly election, which is totally wrong and shall always stand wrong. The posterity of the Nagas will appreciate the stand taken by the Hon’ble Members of the 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly and also by the various NGOs and concerned individuals. I’ am of the firm opinion that the Naga people should come out once again in order to expedite the political negotiation and bring about the early settlement so as to meet the aspiration of the Naga people and especially the upcoming generations.
Imkong L. Imchen

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