Nagaland Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi Credit: Screen grab

Guwahati: Responding to the criticism of the NSCN (I-M) over his comments on the Naga political issue, Nagaland Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi said that he had “no ill-motive or intention to go against the Naga Political Negotiations which has been going on for the last twenty-three and half years.”

“On 12th February 2021, Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha was kind enough to give two minutes to few Members of Parliament to raise “Matters of Urgent Public Importance”. Adhering to the two-minute time given to each Member of Parliament I could not have gone on to divulge the historical and political dynamics of the Naga Political issue which has been going on for more than seven decades now. Iappreciate and support the Framework Agreement and Agreed Position between Government of India and Naga Groups, therefore as and when the Agreement is signed it will go down the annals of history as testimony of the grit and determination of Nagas,” said Yepthomi in a statement.

Also Read: Much to be regretted: NSCN (I-M) slams MP Yepthomi for comments on Naga issue in Lok Sabha

On Sunday, the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim had expressed discontent in the way Yepthomi presented the Nagaland peace pact in the Lok Sabha on Saturday. However, Yepthomi differed with the NSCN (I-M) interpretation of his statement.

“I did not contradict my statement about the ongoing negotiations, rather the only issue I raised was in correspondence to the reply of Ministry of Home Affairs to my Unstarred Question No 1330 laid on the gth February 2021. Wherein the reply was that negotiations were in advanced stage. On the other hand, Hon’ble Governor had stated on the floor of the State Assembly on 12th February that negotiations had been concluded. Herein laid the contradiction to the reply of my Unstarred question which made me raise this issue in Parliament for clarification. My participation was only focused to draw attention of the Indian Parliament for an early Agreement to Naga Political Negotiations. Whether Agreement to Naga Political Negotiations is made within a time bound period or not, is the prerogative of negotiating parties involved,” Yepthomi added in his statement.

“He used misplaced political terminology like Naga “underground” and “militants”. To say the least, his failure to do proper homework left the Naga people seething with righteous anger,” the NSCN (I-M) had said in their statement.

Yepthomi added that Nagas have been living together with mutual respect, love, tolerance and understanding. “It is this reciprocity that has made our land peaceful for many years now and I can only hope that by the grace and mercy of God we can leave behind a society better than we found for future generations,” he added.

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