Cong for improved pol structures post solution

DIMAPUR, OCT 29 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/29/2019 11:56:17 AM IST

With Naga peace process drawing towards conclusion, Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has called upon negotiating parties – Government of India and Naga negotiators – to improve political structures by way of delimitation of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, creation of Legislative Council or Upper House as contained in the 16-Point Agreement (PA) and increase State Assembly seats to 80.

In a statement issued by its president K Therie, NPCC explained that as its jurisdiction was Nagaland and did not have the authority to represent other cases, it left the matter to “our brothers and sisters”.

NPCC further demanded generous and sustainable resettlement schemes for the widows, orphans and genuine national workers, besides an economic package

Mentioning that it was happy to note that Article 371(A) would not only be upheld but also strengthened and explored to extend it to contiguous Naga-inhabited areas, the party pointed out that the issue of integration was included in clause 13 of 16-PA under which contiguous Naga areas could integrate with new Nagaland if they so desired. And Nagaland Legislative Assembly had reiterated it through several resolutions, it added.

NPCC, however, noted that the contiguous Naga areas, especially Manipur Nagas, had rejected through mandate by defeating all Naga Integration Council candidates in the elections, even as the Manipur government had repeatedly spelt out that not an inch of land would be parted. Even in the Framework Agreement, it was agreed that inter-state boundaries would not be altered. Therefore, the party contended that the issue was beyond Nagaland’s means.

According to Congress, the people of Nagaland must forward and walk to future. Political life had no end, nor history could be erased and things would improve with time. The present solution was not the end of the world. So while remaining faithful to history, the party called for striving to catch up with the advancements.

Pointing out that it had continued to uphold the resolution passed by NNO, its founding fathers, at Pfütsero session in 1972, of endeavouring to solve the political problem through peaceful and constitutional means, Congress emphasised that it believed in non-violence, truth and honesty. 

“Congress’ founding fathers have brought 16-PA and Article 371(A). We are all enjoying the fruits, otherwise we would have been a district in Assam,” the statement claimed.

Stating that most NNDP leaders were erstwhile Congress members, the statement added that they had reaped the benefits of Congress and even today were enjoying them. It was shameless of them to accuse other political parties, when they themselves were defectors, it added.

Mentioning that the scope of improvement on 16-PA was open, NPCC hoped that the present solution would improve and strengthen Article 371 (A) in view of the 213th Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs. The party alleged that Framework Agreement had been interpreted differently by the teams engaged in the negotiations, but stressed that they could not differ before Parliament. 

The impact of solution would have direct bearing upon the stakeholders and Congress was and would be with the people, the statement asserted.

Congress said the PDA statement was blunt and meaningless, which simply indicated it had no vision. It wondered what would happen if the solution divided and downgraded Nagaland into three Union Territories like Jammu & Kashmir, if the National Reserved Ingtangki Forest was used for rehabilitation, if Article 371(A) was removed and if worst of the worst came and civil war broke out. 

“What is ‘active facilitator’ policy? Is it facilitation of multiple-taxation and multi-government administrations? What is honourable to the people? What is acceptable to the people? Who should spell out to both GOI and the teams engaged in the negotiations? Are they not the elected representative of the people enjoying the mandate?” NPCC asked.

Terming PDA’s endorsement of Joint Legislators’ Forum resolution as a clear indication of its attempt to escape responsibility, Congress said the stakeholders knew best what was honourable and acceptable “to us”. It was the responsibility of the representatives to voice the demands of the people, which it regretted had utterly failed.

NPCC asserted that in the interest of people, it had decided to support political solution by rising above political differences.

Though PDA also understood that people yearned for peace, corruption-free governance, one government one tax and good roads, relief from multiple government taxes and good administration, Congress alleged that the former’s only policy was to loot and buy votes, practise nepotism, backdoor appointments and enslave voters. It had no courage to stand for the people and its statement was an attempt to escape and blame JLF, NPCC added.

Demanding dismissal of the ruling coalition, Congress accused it of no longer being representative of the people for it could not protect or defend them. It had failed to control goons and illegal collections, had mismanaged the State exchequer and not even able to pay salaries even as existing infrastructure had collapsed, the party pointed out.

Post solution, people want peace, corruption-free government and progressive growth. Nagaland people must look forward and walk to the future, the statement stressed.


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