Kohima: Parallel dialogues with the NSCN(IM) and Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) comprising seven organisations and signing separate pacts with them will not help in finding a common solution to the Naga political issue, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) chairman T R Zeliang said on Thursday.
All 60 members of the Nagaland Assembly came together to form the UDA, an opposition-less government in September 2021, to pursue an early solution to the Naga political issue (NPI).
The Union government has been holding two separate parleys with the NSCN(IM) since 1997 and NNPGs since 2017. The Centre signed a framework agreement with the NSCN(IM) on August 3, 2015, and also entered into an agreed position with NNPGs in December 2017.
“There cannot be parallel dialogue and two different agreements for one common solution to the Naga political issue,” Zeliang, a former chief minister, said in the Assembly.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after Independence in 1947.
The framework agreement signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi gave high expectations but the problem still remains unresolved, he said.
The Centre’s then interlocutor R N Ravi had declared that the demand for separate Naga constitution and flag cannot be granted, leading to a stalemate, Zeliang said.
The Centre is not willing to accept the demands probably because it had abrogated Article 370 which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. With the annulment of the special status in 2019, the separate flag and the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir cease to exist.
On the initiatives of the Core Committee of the State Government on the Naga issue, Zeliang informed the House that after this Budget session, the panel would go to Delhi and meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah to know the latest position of the Centre on the matter.
The members of the House should mediate between the two parties – the NSCN(IM) andPGs – so that they can come together and in that case, the Centre will succumb to the pressure, he said.
Referring to BJP general secretary Ram Madhav’s announcement before the 2018 Assembly poll that it would be an election for solution , Zeliang said that every future election cannot be described as such.
We stand for inclusive, honourable and acceptable political agreement and also stand for one solution, one agreement,” he said
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio endorsed Zeliang’s statement.
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