CM Rio, Naga legislators urged to step down by NNPG
The pro-solution NNPG on Wednesday gave a clarion call to all legislators including ministers and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to resign en masse "to enable an inclusive transitional arrangement"
This can be termed as the 'ultimate pressure' on the Nagaland politicians - the council of ministers and legislators.
The pro-solution Naga National Political Group (NNPG), headed by convener N Kitovi Zhimomi, on Wednesday gave a clarion call to all legislators including ministers and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to resign en masse "to enable an inclusive transitional arrangement".
However, the NNPG statement said, "The wisdom of Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi will matter most in the coming days"
Incidentally, the state cabinet is likely to meet at Kohima on Thursday.
The strongly-worded statement has been issued hours before Kitovi and other NNPG leaders are slated to hold a vital meeting with the Centre's new peace emissary A K Mishra in Chumukeidima near Dimapur on Thursday.
"On 1st April 2022, the state Chief Minister Mr. Neiphiu Rio and UDA Chairman Mr. T.R Zealiang reaffirmed to the Working Committee, NNPGs of their commitment to Naga people that they were ready to pave the way for solution. Now, with a five year tenure slated to end in months, we believe it will be in the interest of Naga people to translate words into action.
"Our great hope in the days ahead is that the august House and members of Nagaland Assembly collectively will look at new direction, as primary stakeholders for the future, will put in papers en-masse to enable an inclusive transitional arrangement for implementation of the Indo-Naga agreement, for an enduring peaceful coexistence."
This resignation, the NNPG leaders said, will be a practical stance to prove who are, and who are not, "for honourable and acceptable future of our children and grandchildren".
The statement signed by N Kitovi Zhimomi, convener of NNPG and other leaders Zhopra Vero, Y Wangtin Naga, Z Hozheto Chophy, Kiumkukam Yimkhiung, ToshiWalling and Isak Sumi, also charge that over the months the elected state government and elected MLAs did not discharge their responsibilities as effectively as expected.
"Has the facilitator become a political harlot, in the arms of anti-solution elements?," the statement says, sounding its usual bitterness towards NSCN (IM).
In this context, the NNPG, which is keen to ink the final Peace pact with the Government of India stated that "the 60 elected members of Nagaland Legislative Assembly, representing 60 constituencies of Nagaland, must take a public stand".
"Enough consultations with Nagaland tribes, civil societies and Naga negotiating groups have taken place. There has been a number of committees and platforms to facilitate and assist the negotiators.
Despite the best efforts, the stalemate persists. To the misfortune of Nagas, all politicians are blessed, or rather cursed, with three tongues. One for themselves, the other for their party and the third for their future".
The NNPG had inked Agreed Position with the Centre on November 17, 2017.
It cautioned that the lip-service and dilly dallying will no longer be entertained.
"The 2018 election slogan of "Election for Solution" cannot be repeated in any manner. We will not accept a recycled slogan. The will-full collective betrayal by political parties will naturally lead to serious repercussions. The NNPGs will take appropriate decisions at an appropriate time," it cautioned.
"The treachery and deceit against the people of Nagaland have a price to pay".
The NNPG statement says - "The wisdom of Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi will matter most in the coming days" and carefully hastened to add - "Hurting the Naga sentiment is insulting the core Naga pride and this should not happen again in our lifetime".
The Naga peace talks initiated in the 1990s were formalised in 1997 during the tenure of I.K. Gujral as the Prime Minister.
Congress floor leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on April 18 (Monday) cited 'flip-flop' in the entire process and flayed Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
"Governor and Interlocutor (RN Ravi) in his address to Nagaland state assembly in Feb 2021 declared that talks have concluded. Assembly has adopted a vote of thanks to the address. Thereafter, Chief Minister Shri Neiphu Rio moved a resolution demanding to resume talks instead of endorsing for implementation of agreements. This is what we call a flip-flop," Chowdhury wrote in a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
In 2018 assembly polls the BJP had given a slogan 'Election for Solution'.
Veteran Naga leader S C Jamir, who also served as Gujarat Governor during the tenure of Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister, have been meeting the Prime Minister and insisting on not to delay the peace parleys.
"I have been telling the Prime Minister about the realities of the situation and I think it will be better that things should be expedited. After all, for how long we can go on negotiating," Jamir had told this writer in November last year (as reported by IANS also).
Talking about the Prime Minister's style of functioning and ability to take key and tough decisions, Jamir had said: "The Prime Minister has the guts, that is an advantage. The Naga issue has its complexities. I have seen many Prime Ministers, but one good quality with him is, he takes decisions and it is very important".