KOHIMA, MARCH 22: Nagaland Government today called for a fresh mandate on Naga peace process if solution has to be delayed and continue to elude common cry of the people.
Replying to discussion on matters of urgent public importance on “Naga political issue” in the Assembly today, Rio said the negotiating groups have betrayed the expectation of the masses and that people should seek for a fresh mandate if solution to the protracted Naga political issue is going to be prolonged. “The public should give a clear mandate”, he added.
He however said while trying to hammer out solution, the issue should be pursued through non-violence.
He said the Union Government has recognized the uniqueness of Naga history and tradition and basing on that the Naga peace process is underway.
NDPP MLA, Medo Yhokha also echoed the same sentiment that 1951 plebiscite type should be conducted to seek the mandate of the people. “However to make our proclamation more affirmative, forceful and tangible and to let Nagas and the world know who is in favor and against the present agreement, against peace and advancement, if and why the Nagas way back in 1951 could go for a plebiscite/referendum on our political assertion, won’t it be prudent and appropriate for all the Nagas living today make a similar exercise on the agreement matter, which is otherwise unfortunately getting stalled owing to diverse narrative?” he asked.
The Chief Minister said the 13th House has passed 3 resolutions on the Naga political issue calling for an honourable and acceptable solution without delay. He said since 1964 the State Assembly has passed 17 resolutions on Naga political issue. But he said till solution is arrived at, the Assembly should continue deliberating on the issue.
He said the Centre has accepted the Naga problem as political issue and that peace process has entered 25 years which is more than enough to understand each other to find a solution.
He insisted that the negotiating parties should find a solution adding, “If we cannot find a solution, then when?” he asked. He however said agreement has been delayed due to different narratives, compounded by trust deficit and no common platform, except the church.
The BJP has ruled out separate constitution and flag to sign the pact with the Naga groups. Echoing his master’s voice, the State unit of BJP President and Minister, TemjenImna Along said separate constitution and flag is out of question. “We will not get a constitution and the flag”, he said while quoting the Union Home Minister Amit Shah of saying that even after 400 years the demand for the constitution and the flag will never be accepted.
Temjen said Government of India is also under the Constitution and that separate constitution and flag for the Naga group will never be possible. He said time has come for the Naga groups to lay down arms to let people progress and prosper.
Another Advisor Zhaleo Rio said both Framework Agreement and Agreed Position are under the Constitution of India and insisted that solution should come at the earliest for the sake of the people. He further urged 60 members of the House not to shy away from playing an active role to facilitate the peace process.
NPF MLA, Yitachu said in 2003 former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee recognized the unique history of the Nagas and basing on that peace talks are underway. He also said due to the active role played by the 60 Members in facilitating the peace process Framework Agreement and Agreed Position could be signed between the Union Government and Naga outfits. He said talks with the Naga groups concluded by October 31, 2019, except symbolic issues and wanted to know why solution continues to elude people even after the conclusion of the talks.
Former Home Minister and NPF legislators, Imkong L Imchen called for invoking Article 356 of the Constitution of India if the election system is making any negative hindrance in the ongoing political negotiation. “During 2018 general election there as a concerted effort to put on hold of the impending general election to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly under the slogan “solution not election”. However another slogan came from a certain national party “election for solution”, so election was conducted as per their wish. Five years has gone since then, and yet nothing is coming to our sight either from the Government of India or from the Naga negotiating groups. If the continuation of election system in the State is making any negative hindrance in the ongoing political negotiation, the Government of India may even invoke Article 356 of the Constitution of India after the completion of the present tenure in 2023 so as to eliminate any negative hindrance coming from the elected representatives”, he said. He suggested that House be kept under Animated Suspension or even dissolved and impose President’s Rule so as to conduct speedy negotiation and to bring settlement at the earliest.
Imchen said after forming Opposition-less Government the House constituted the Core Committee on Naga political issue with Chief Minister as Convenor and Co-Convenors are former CM TR Zeliang and Deputy CM, Y Patton, but regretted that the Committee could not discuss the core issues by providing quality time to the Members and in the process the time has taken its toll consequent upon which Naga people’s anxieties and enthusiasm for a negotiated settlement is losing faith with frustration.
“It is now 25 years since the political talks started and yet there is no sign of progress coming out of the 25 year long negotiations. Several unanimous resolutions were adopted by this successive August House but no semblance of even acknowledgement from any of the negotiating parties, including Government of India”, he said.
But his contention was rebutted by at least two BJP lawmakers in support of holding elections.
(Page News Service)