Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio addressing the gathering as part of 74th Independence Day celebrations in Kohima on Saturday

Kohima: As part of the 74th Independence Day celebrations on Saturday, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio expressed that there is a deep desire for a solution to the Naga political issue which will pave way for all-round progress and development.

Addressing the occasion, the chief minister said that even when all resources are used to continue combating COVID-19, it remains fully conscious of the need for an early and honorable settlement of the Naga Political Issue. Rio said that since the conclusion of the talks between the government of India and the Naga political groups on October 31, Nagas are optimistic of an early solution.

As the 74th Independence Day of the world’s largest democracy is being commemorated, he said that the “23 years of ceasefire and political dialogue are more than enough time to reach a logical conclusion”. Rio said that Nagas long for genuine peace for decades, and there is a deep desire for a solution that will pave the way for all round progress and development.

“A political solution that is honorable and acceptable to the Nagas will usher in an era of faster economic growth and employment opportunities for our youth,” Rio said further adding that given a conducive environment, the youth and children can achieve success and excellence in the national and international arenas.

The chief minister also said that the Naga society must “stand as one, speak as one, and give a final push to collectively achieve a settlement and remove the shackles that burden our society once and for all”.

Rio also said that a democratic and just settlement of the Naga issue will also directly strengthen the democratic foundations of India. He said that is time for the civil societies to deliberate and create a conducive atmosphere with full understanding as one “Naga family”, although they may be living across different administrative jurisdictions.

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“I take this opportunity to appeal to all sections of society and every citizen, to continue to make their honest contribution for lasting peace, even as we reiterate our call to the negotiating parties to resolve the issue without further delay,” Rio added.

The chief minister said that the State Government has continued to play the role of active facilitator in the ongoing political dialogue by making all possible efforts to create a congenial atmosphere for the peace talks to reach a logical conclusion and has carried out consultations with all sections of society and all other stakeholders.

He further said that through the Joint Legislators’ Forum (JLF), all members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly have united, irrespective of party affiliations and political ideologies for the greater interest of peace and political solution.

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