Governor of Nagaland and Meghalaya RN Ravi addressing the 5th session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on January 17 this year Credit: File image

Kohima: Nagaland Opposition party – Naga People’s Front (NPF)—during the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address, questioned the “contradictory” remarks made in the address to the fifth session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on January 17 this year.

From the opposition bench, MLA Imkong L Imchen, led the debate by seeking amendment to the second paragraph of the Governor’s address: “The negotiations which were going on for the past many years between the government of India and the Naga political groups have been concluded successfully”. Questioning as to how the negotiations concluded successfully, Imchen pointed that the preceding lines expressed “ How we could be now very close to it, which is contradicting.

He added that as a bonafide citizen, he is aware that the peace talks had not concluded, rather all Nagas are still hoping for a desirable solution. He therefore suggested that sentence to be redrafted as: “The negotiations between the Government of India and the Naga Political Groups have been going on for the past many years but have not arrived to a final conclusion till date”. He said that the amendment is necessary as it is “misleading” the House to believe that the Naga political issue has concluded successfully.

Not getting a favorable response from the neighboring states is no excuse to prolonged final settlement of Indo-Naga political issue: MLA Vikheho Swu

While the Governor has earlier appealed all state governments and people of the neighbouring states to show the highest level of understanding and extend all possible cooperation so that the peace process which has reached a “very critical juncture” concludes successfully in the “interest of enduring peace and stability in the entire region”, MLA Vikheho Swu, retaliated saying “the Centre should not use the excuse of not getting a favorable response from the neighboring states as a means to prolong the final settlement of the Indo-Naga political issue”.

“The 23 years is a long enough time for Government of India to find out an agreeable settlement if she [GoI] truly and sincerely wishes to”, he added. He then said that if the political talk has concluded successfully, “it would be productive if the GoI discloses to the Naga people and to all the stake holders what has been agreed or negotiated so far”, to clear the doubts, assumptions and apprehensions and protect the process from misconception.

October deadline was a war like situation that created panic among Nagas: MLA Chotisuh Sazo

Recounting the October 31 deadline made by the GoI to conclude peace talks, MLA Chotisuh Sazo questioned as to what was the need to create a “panic situation” for the Nagas. Making references of the state government’s directive to its administrative officers to remain in the station; police personnel not being permitted to take leave except on medical ground; Police battalion’s directed to arrange sufficient rations for two-three months, Sazo said that a “war like situation” was created to press upon the Naga talking parties to come to the conclusion of the talk.

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Pointing that if “we could be now very close to it”, as stated by the Governor, Chotisuh Sazo questioned the leader of the house to spell out “how close it is: whether one month, one year, 10 year or how many years?”.

If all factions unite and rule us in our state, there will be more bloodshed: MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu

MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu questioned the government over its silence over the recruitments by Naga political groups following the declaration of solution by October 31 deadline and even after it. He also pointed how the governor made contradictory statements by remarking the Naga peace talks to be “very close”, “successfully concluded”, and his urge to all organizations unite if not the Nagas “will miss golden opportunity”.

“Solution seems to be a distant dream to me because the blame game has started”, he said. As elected members of the state, he said that it is “high time to discuss the ground and contemporary realities”. Mandated by the people, he said that the MLAs must spell out to all the factions about what is practical. “Who should we be scared of?,” he raised.

According to him, all factions must unite, but nevertheless, the “Naga brothers” from Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, must be told that they “will be accommodated in Autonomous Regional Council” of the states respectively. “Then only solution can come. If we say all the factions should come together and they should rule us in the state of Nagaland, there will be more bloodshed. Ground realities need to be spell out,” he added.

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