Fresh talks underway to achieve Naga political solution, says Rio

Fresh talks underway to achieve Naga political solution, says Rio
Neiphiu Rio and Chingwang Konyak felicitating (C) S Keoshu Yimchunger at the thanksgiving programme. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, OCT 16 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/16/2021 12:21:02 PM IST

State chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, Saturday maintained that although formal negotiations with all groups officially ended on October 31, 2019, no solution could be achieved. Therefore, in order to achieve the desired solution, he said a new chapter was opened and new talks currently underway. 

He said this while speaking at the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) thanksgiving programme at NDPP Headquarters Chümoukedima to felicitate party nominee and UDA consensus candidate S Keoshu Yimchunger for winning the by-election to 58 Shamatore-Chessore assembly constituency unopposed.

On the pursuit for Naga solution, Rio said that the main issue outstanding was the NSCN(I-M) demand for separate flag and constitution.

Rio emphasised that the state government was not a part of the negotiating groups although it was only playing its role as facilitator to bring early solution. He said that the negotiating parties would have the last say on the ongoing talks. He also appealed to all the sections not to miss the opportunity as there may not be another. Stressing on the need to work together, Rio said “Solution will come when we all work together.”

On the formation of opposition-less government under the umbrella of UDA, Rio said that the top most priority in forming UDA government was for early solution to the Naga political issue. He, however, maintained that the state government had to prove to the citizens that UDA could run good governance and serve the people of the state. 

On UDA’s role as a facilitator, Rio said that the government formed a core committee and had met with negotiating parties to discuss on the ongoing peace talks. He said that Naga political issue was one, and that there would be one solution only. 

Rio said the government of India was holding talks with all negotiating entities and therefore it was also the Centre’s responsibility to bring all entities together to sign the settlement.

Commenting on the controversy surrounding the shifting of DC office to the new complex at Chümoukedima, Rio said there was no official order to shift DC’s office Dimapur to Chümoukedima. 

He said that the only decision taken was to create ADC, sub-treasury and Seithekima EAC to work under ADC and posted to the new DC Complex at Chümoukedima. 

The chief minister also said that there was no need to pressure state government by submitting ultimatum, memorandum or deadline. He said that if there was any genuine demand, they should approach the state government to sit across the table and share their opinions “instead of flushing out their opinions in media.”

He also wondered whether a constitutionally elected government should run the government or civil society? 

Rio reasserted that while he respected all organisations, he lamented that sometimes some organizations speak and act without thinking. “There are many leaders in Nagaland, who have hardly any followers” he added. 

On the demand of CSOs to change the tag “HQ: Chümoukedima; Camp: Dimapur” from the letterhead of DC Dimapur, Rio said that during the chief ministership of Dr. SC Jamir, the cabinet had decided to name Chümoukedima as the Headquarters of Dimapur and accordingly a notification was issue on November 10, 1997. “How can we revoke an order that has been notified 20 to 25 years ago?” Rio questioned. He said that to revoke a government order was “unreasonable”, and added that a sitting should be held to discuss the issue. 

“All problems will be resolved. Whether one is happy or not, the government will take decision concerning justice for all,” Rio stated. 

Meanwhile, delivering thanksgiving speech, chief minister acknowledged the UDA government for rendering support to the consensus candidate and not filing nomination. He also acknowledged Congress party for not fielding candidate respecting the decision of the state government and tribal Hohos. 

He further acknowledged the sacrifices rendered by those who wanted to file nomination, but did not, respecting parties call and the alliance under the umbrella of UDA. 

Also, appreciating the support rendered by the tribal bodies of Yimchunhger and Tikhir, Rio said that such unity was very rare in the Naga society. “It is a very costly thing to be united,” Rio stated. 

He said that unity, which brings all good ingredients, could conquer anything. 

He also claimed that the BJP central government was pleased that UDA candidate was elected “uncontested” as winning an election uncontested was very seldom. 

Rio also congratulated the new elected member of the assembly S Keoshu Yimchunger and expressed hope that the victory would only strengthen the UDA. 

Earlier, NDPP secretary general and advisor to CM, Abu Metha delivered the welcome address while short messages were also delivered by NDPP president Chinhwang Konyak and NPF legislator Imkong L Imchen. Newly elected legislator S Keoshu Yimchunger also gave a brief acknowledgement speech and BJP Nagaland general secretary Khevishe Achumi proposed vote of thanks.

The programme was chaired by secretary women organisation NDPP and member, women commission Nagaland, W Nginyeih Konyak, and SBCC youth pastor Vikugha Zhimomi gave the invocation.

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