Resolution of Naga political issue is govt’s top agenda: Rio
KOHIMA, FEBRUARY 18: The Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday adopted a 4-point resolution on the decades-old Naga political struggle, with the 60-member House resolving to work in unity to facilitate the ongoing negotiations for a final solution between the Centre and the Naga political groups.
The Government of India has been holding two separate parleys with the Naga negotiators – NSCN (IM) since 1997 and Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) comprising seven groups since 2017.
The Centre had signed the Framework Agreement with NSCN (IM) on August 3, 2015 and also inked the Agreed Position with NNPGs on November 17, 2017. However, the final solution to the talks remains elusive.
The Assembly resolution on Naga political issue was moved by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and seconded by Leader of Opposition TR Zeliang, which was followed by a day-long discussion in the House on Tuesday.
The resolution states that “in honouring and adhering to the voice of the people, the August House endorses and reiterates all the past resolutions of the NLA on the Indo-Naga political issue, and resolves to work unitedly in facilitating the Indo-Naga political negotiations”.
The Assembly appreciated the continued efforts made by the Government of India to resolve the Indo-Naga political issue through peaceful means and for acknowledging the unique history and identity of the Nagas by upholding the Naga political talks.
The members further acknowledged and appreciated the efforts made by all Naga political groups, political parties, civil society organisations, the churches and NGOs towards finding a peaceful resolution to the Indo-Naga political issue.
The House also appealed to all to continue working towards strengthening Naga unity, and come together in the spirit of oneness for the larger interest of the Naga people.
Notably, on October 31, 2019, the Centre’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks and Governor of Nagaland, RN Ravi had declared that the talks have concluded. He repeated the stance while delivering his address on the opening day of the ongoing budget session.
However, the State Assembly in its resolution today “urged the Government of India and the Naga political groups to sit across the table for the conclusion of the political negotiation that is honourable, inclusive and acceptable to the people as ‘One Solution’ without any further delay”.
Subsequently, the NLA Speaker Sharingain Longkumer put the resolution to vote and was unanimously adopted by voice vote.
Meanwhile, Rio in his budget speech for fiscal 2021-22 said that resolution of the Naga political issue remains at the top of the Government’s political agenda.
He said that the House had a fruitful and productive discussion on the Naga political issue, where members had shared their views, opinions and suggestions.
“We could all get the sense that this House is indeed serious and committed towards facilitating a solution to the decades-old Indo-Naga political imbroglio,” said Rio.
“We will continue to collectively play the role of active facilitator in the political negotiations so that our aspiration of arriving at a solution that upholds the democratic rights of the Nagas in an honourable manner is arrived at as early as possible,” he said.
The Chief Minister also appealed to the negotiating parties to expedite the talks and bring about the much-desired solution.
Meanwhile, replying to a query from journalists as to why the House resolution did not mention integration of Naga inhabited areas and appeal for support from the neighbouring States, Rio said everything cannot be included in the resolution “but we still stand by our appeal for integration and support of the neighbours”.
“We don’t choose our neighbours, we will be together. So living in cooperation and harmony is the best formula,” said Rio.
(Page News Service)