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Opposition corners Govt on Governor’s ‘talks concluded’ remark

Nagaland News

It was coined by Ravi, not State Govt, clarifies CM

Kohima, February 15: Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Monday grilled the State Government over Nagaland Governor’s remarks on the Naga political talks.
Initiating the debate on the ‘motion of thanks’ on Governor RN Ravi’s address delivered on February 12, the first day of the ongoing session of the NLA Budget session 2021-22 here, MLA Imkong L. Imchen sought clarification from the Leader of the House, Neiphiu Rio on the use of the terms “talks between the GoI and Naga groups have concluded” by the Governor contradicting Ministry of Home Affairs February 9 statement in the Parliament that “ongoing talks is at an advanced stage”.
“Has the talks really concluded or the Governor misleading this August House and the Naga people,” questioned Imchen.

If the talks have concluded as informed by the Governor, how has it concluded, asked Imkong while seeking the Government’s response.
“If the Naga political issue has been concluded please tell us and the people of Nagaland that it is concluded or admit that we (government) have misled the House because it has been repeatedly mentioned by the Governor and Chief Minister that the talks have concluded.”
He also asked the Government as to where and what is the final solution if the talks have concluded.
Quoting Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy’s response to an unstarred question of Nagaland MP Tokheho Yepthomi in the Lok Sabha on February 9, Imchen asked, “Which one should the people of Nagaland take… the Governor’s address or the MoS response?”
The senior MLA also questioned the actual status of the Naga political negotiations, while also asking the Government to present the right perspective of the talks to the Naga people.
Supplementing Imchen, MLA Yitachu said if the talks have concluded why the Governor in his speech had to urge the people to come together and bring about settlement.
“What has been concluded needs to be spelled so that as active facilitators of the negotiations, the legislators can also put their minds and contribute towards the final agreement,” he said.
Yitachu also lambasted the GoI for holding peaceful negotiations with Naga groups on one hand and also declaring them as ‘terrorists’ and ‘unlawful organizations’. “No country holds talks for a solution and also declares the cadres of different groups as terrorists and unlawful,” he stated.
Saying that the Naga issue requires more active facilitation from those in power but it is lacking in the present Government, the NPF MLA opined that Naga legislators as peoples’ representatives needs to do more as facilitators of the Naga political dialogue between the Centre and the Naga groups.
On the claims of the ruling bench that the State Assembly has passed several resolutions even in the past to be active facilitators of the Naga political issue, he said, “There is no need to be proud in adopting resolutions alone but we have to take it forward.”
“A lot needs to be done, so we urge the Leader of the House to be more pro-active as facilitator in solving the Naga issue,” appealed Yitachu.
Responding to Opposition members queries, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio simply washed hands on the use of the term “talks have concluded” saying that “it was coined by Governor R N Ravi, who is also Centre’s Interlocutor for Naga peace talks”.
“This statement was given by the interlocutor himself after the talks with Naga groups. Even before the Interlocutor had said that the official talks would conclude on October 31, 2019,” said Rio.
“It (the statement) was not given by the state government but the interlocutor which is known to the Naga political groups, and it was welcomed by different sections of the Naga people, including the Opposition Leader,” he said.
He said the incumbent Governor (Ravi) is not only Governor but also the interlocutor. The Government and opposition members are facilitators as both have worked together as Joint Legislators Forum (JLF) on Naga issue while there were healthy discussions and adopted resolution but due to some communication gap NPF had withdrawn from the JLF, he said.

Nonetheless, the CM appreciated Zeliang for coming forward to give a joint statement on Naga political issue while also supporting the October 15 seven-point resolution of the Naga consultative meeting convened by the Government. “I feel we do not have differences but only communication gaps,” said Rio.
Without dwelling much on the Opposition members seeking clarification, Rio said as sought by them the House would be having sufficient time on Tuesday to discuss threadbare on the Naga political issue. (Page News Service)