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‘No final solution’ to Naga issue before Parl polls: Tokheho tells Lok Sabha


Nirendra Dev
New Delhi, February 5: In a statement that could trigger a major political controversy and battle of wits in Nagaland, the lone Lok Sabha member, Tokheho Yepthomi, today said that any final solution may not come to the vexed Naga issue before the fast approaching parliamentary elections.
“‘Elections are knocking at the door and I believe that the final solution may not take place. That is what I presume,” Tokheho said while participating in the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address.
A first time MP, Tokheho, who has made it to the Lok Sabha in the bypolls only after Neiphiu Rio returned to the state as Chief Minister in March 2018, did a plain speaking and pointed out while there are “no killings” in the state now, but there is “unrest in our State”.
“Therefore, taking this opportunity, I would like to request the Prime Minister, Home Minister, senior Leaders and the Leaders of this august House to kindly extend all assistance to resolve this
Naga political issue… that Nagaland can also be a part of this great nation,” he said.
He reminded the members that negotiations to resolve Naga political problem had started way back in 1997 and talks are going on for last 22 years under so many successive governments.
It goes without saying that the formal Naga peace talks between Central government’s negotiators and the NSCN(IM) has been going under successive Prime Ministers – H D Deve Gowda, I K Gujral, Atal BIhari Vajpayee, Dr Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi.
However, he was cautious that as part of the BJP-led NDA, the NDPP cannot quite displease the Modi government and thus he credited Prime Minister and his government for the Framework Agreement inked on August 3, 2015.
But he hastened to add in carefully chosen words, “We were expecting solution” but nothing came in last few years.
Criticizing previous regimes – especially the one led by Dr Singh – for hardly making any progress in the talks, the Nagaland lawmaker said, “However under the Modi government the Framework Agreement was signed.”
“During the UPA Government, in 10 years, there were only negotiations, and there was no sign of improvement in the negotiations. But during Prime Minister Modi’s time, within two years, the Framework Agreement has been signed — as has been mentioned by me — and it is going on for the last 3 and half years,” he said adding, nevertheless in the absence of the final solution the people are “suffering”.
Tokheho, who has also served as minister in the state, lauded Modi government’s works and said, “Our Government has taken a lot of initiatives and programmes for development, but in Nagaland the four-lane road that was committed by our former Prime Minister, Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, is under construction. Otherwise, rest of the development works are held-up due to insurgency problems”.
He lamented that there was no mention of insurgency problem in the Northeast in the Presidential address.
He also said people will not get ‘dignity and justice’ in Nagaland unless the issue is resolved at the earliest.
“I would like to congratulate the Prime Minister Modi and the Home Minister Rajnath Singh for bringing all the law and order problems in (Jammu and Kashmir and Naxal hit states) under control. But nothing has been mentioned in the Honourable President’s speech about North-Eastern insurgency problems,” he said.