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GoI offered statehood in 1956: Khekiho
Published on 26 Jun. 2011 12:43 AM IST
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Rajya Sabha MP Khekiho Zhimomi Saturday, expressed gratitude to NPCC – for providing him with an “opportunity to clarify few points”, over two issues-VRS scam and statehood of Nagaland under the 16-Point Agreement.
Earlier, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) responded to Khekiho’s attack by alleging that the chief minister had rejected demands for a CBI probe into the VRS scam and also affirmed the Congress’ stand on the 16 Point agreement and Nagaland statehood besides alleged scam in transport subsidy.
In his response over the Sugar Mill VRS scam, Khekiho maintained that since the district sessions court had dismissed the case on the ground that there was no prima facie evidence, “the law had taken its own course and a logical conclusion was delivered”.
On the alleged scam in industrial transport subsidy, the MP said as the then state industries minister, he had explained the matter “clearly” on multiple occasions on the floor of the state assembly. He also said there was no case of any nature pending in the court on the issue.
On the 16 point agreement and statehood of Nagaland, the Rajya Sabha MP maintained that the issue was about some of the “then opportunistic overground leaders” who had “hijacked” the agreement by not taking the “then underground leaders” as well as a majority of the “then overground leaders” into confidence. Therefore, he said the NPCC’s question should be directed to “a signatory” who happened to be the “tallest leader of the NPCC” rather than to him (Khekiho).
Khekiho further expounded on whether the 16 point agreement was worthy by raising certain points for people’s judgment.
He opined that had the agreement been tripartite (government of India/Naga People’s Convention and undergrounds, any consensus on whether to accept statehood or not would have prevented division among Nagas in the decades that followed till date.
Khekiho recalled that General Thimaya then chief of Indian army during 1956 “symbolically paid half a rupee as token for statehood offer” to FGN prime minister Kughato Sukhai at Ghukiye village, Satakha subdivision.
He said Kughato refused the offer and instead gave Gen. Thimaya a rupee to “prove that Nagas were more worthy than statehood offer”. Stating that the government of India had offered statehood as early as 1956, Khekiho claimed that even Gen. Thimaya declared that the Naga issue required political solution.
Khekiho claimed that even then prime minister Nehru the “architect of Nagaland state” had realized that the 1960 agreement that led to statehood in 1963 had caused “major disagreement” among the Naga general public and therefore, ever after the first assembly election in 1964, the government of India signed the first cease fire agreement with the FGN to resume political dialogue on the Naga political issue till Nehru’s untimely demise in May 1964.
Khekiho asserted that though statehood has its merit, yet could not be described as “an upright deal, considering the advantageous situation on the Naga people side at that time.”
He said with Nagaland a state and part of the mainstream Indian union, and since every citizen enjoyed rights and privileges as per constitution, he also has legal rights to hold office under the constitution.
Khekiho retorted that if his resignation from the Rajya Sabha could facilitate an early and honourable solution to the Naga political issue, he was prepared to do so in order to pave way as stated in the NPF manifesto.
He further invited the NPCC and the Naga people to ascertain matters from available parliamentary proceedings and bulletins to judge his role as MP.
On the NPCC attributing chief minister Neiphiu Rio as his political saviour, Khekiho said Rio “ is the political saviour of the Naga people today” because of his phenomenal mandate “whether the Congress party can digest it or not”.

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