Editorial

Litmus test for solution

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/9/2020 1:22:36 PM IST

 When former veteran Congressman-turned-BJP leader and Assam finance, health and education minister Dr.Himanta Biswa Sarma paid a brief one-day visit to Kohima, it was to call on state chief minister Neiphiu Rio. According to media reports, it was not a courtesy call since Sarma was in Kohima on a mission. He reportedly flew to Kohima in a chopper to discuss about getting all legislators and civil society organisations on board as prerequisite to finalising formal agreement for the Naga political issue. In Kohima, Sarma reportedly requested the chief minister to convene a special session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly to have all party legislators discuss and adopt resolution(s) on the peace process. According to sources, Sarma was tasked by union home minister Amit Shah to get both ruling PDA leader and chief minister Neiphiu Rio  and opposition NPF leader T.R.Zeliang jointly endorse the October 15 resolution adopted at the consultative meeting attended by 39 organisations such as civil society, apex tribe representatives, legislators, representatives of political parties , former parliamentarians etc. The October 15 resolutions were unanimously adopted by 206 attendees representing 39 prominent state organisations in sending out one voice for peaceful solution. The NPF stayed away from the October 15 meeting and the absence was conspicuous as it only betrayed a lack of unanimity. Of course, NPF had walked out of the Joint Legislators Forum on August 18 and formally constituted its own forum under Political Affairs Mission(PAM) on August 28. The main complaint of the NPF was over being kept in the dark by the chief minister about meetings held with central leaders and not taking the party’s suggestions besides not holding frequent meetings of JLF. Having made its point, it would have served the party’s primary objective of asking all to “agree to come together’ by setting aside differences in the larger interest of the Nagas. The October 15 consultative meeting, as disclosed by chief minister Neiphiu Rio in his keynote address on the day, was convened at the behest of union home minister Amit Shah. According to media reports, Shah had purportedly advised Zeliang to endorse the October 15 resolutions and also hold a joint meeting of legislators of both PDA and NPF in this regard. As the prime minister Narendra Modi had expressed the desire and determination of the government of India under the NDA, to conclude endless negotiations by October 31 and bring one solution for one issue and one people. The agreement was expected on or before Christmas 2019 and now it is over one year. Since the two main negotiating parties- NSCN(I-M) and WC of NNPGs-differ on some points; it is only expected that the rest of the Nagas from the politicians, leaders of apex tribes, NGOs and others  stand together to catalyse the “coming together” of the two groups. Coming together is through understanding of the need of the day and not necessarily unification. In this regard, the involvement of Sarma in the Naga political affairs is quite unexpected. Perhaps he is only offering his good offices to help. The leaders of political parties, elected by their people, need to seriously ponder over whether they choose to remain paralysed due to ego clashes that invite delays and involvement of others from other states or do what is needed- practise what they preach. 

 

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