Elections are constitutional mandates: Nagaland govt spokespersons
Neiba Kronu and Mmhonlumo Kikon addressing a press meet

Kohima: With the state assembly polls just a few months away, government spokespersons on Friday said the election process is a constitutional mandate and that the political parties are duty-bound to participate. 

The Minister for Planning & Coordination, Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs, Neiba Kronu, and BJP national spokesperson and advisor for New & Renewable Energy, IT&C, Science and Technology, Mmhonlumo Kikon, made the statement during a press conference at the Heritage in Kohima. They were asked if the government would stand for ‘solution before election’ or ‘election for solution’ about the Naga political issue.

The ‘election for solution’ was a slogan popularly used by the BJP during the 2018 polls. It was also used by the BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav as a rebuttal to civil societies’ demand for a “solution before the election”.

Kikon said that in the last election, with the milestone achievement of the signing of the Framework Agreement (FA) and Agreed Position (AP), Madhav had felt at the time that the atmosphere was ripe, and so came up with the slogan. 

However, it was not because of Madhav’s statement that elections were held. The legislator clarified that elections were conducted because it is constitutionally mandated to happen. 

Kikon added that ‘things’ (situations) have changed over the years but the NDPP-BJP pre-poll alliance and their commitment to resolving the Naga issue remains. 

In addition, Minister Kronu said that the July 16, 2022 resolution of the state government has sent out a clear message on the government’s intention. 

The state government, in its resolution, had urged the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister to invite the NSCN (IM) leaders and settle the issue, as talks have concluded in 2019.

After the resolution was adopted, the chief minister met the Union home minister and apprised him of the Naga people’s desire. But as of now, there has been no response from the Centre. As there is time to resolve the issue before the next election, he said, parties have to prepare to face the elections. 

The legislator rubbished allegations made by the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) that the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) government is misleading Nagas on the Naga issue. He said that the opposition-less government is not pretending and is serious about facilitating an early solution. 

As for the allegation on Rio-led NDPP merger with BJP after the 2023 election, Kronu slammed the claims. “The BJP party, as a national party, has their own principle. We, as a regional party, have our own principle,” he said. 

He added that the NDPP party would maintain its regional party principle and there is no agenda for a merger post the poll. 

Meanwhile, Kikon said that the relationship between the two parties has grown since its last pre-poll alliance and the same formula would be applied for the upcoming polls. He added that the allegations made by the Congress is “unbecoming” and not healthy. 

Kikon added that issues raised by opposition parties should not be personal. 

The Congress had earlier accused PM Narendra Modi and the state government of delaying resolving the Naga issue. 

Nagaland Congress president K Therie had also claimed that the state government has completely collapsed and there was no law and order in the state. 

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