PDA-NPF move towards all-party govt.

PDA-NPF move towards all-party govt.
(L-R) State chief minister Neiphiu Rio and leader of opposition T.R. Zeliang. (File)
Correspondent KOHIMA, JUL 19 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/19/2021 1:17:13 PM IST


In a major political development, the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) have agreed to work together as an all-party government supposedly for the Naga political issue in pursuance of the objective of ‘one solution, one agreement.’

The coming together was facilitated after formation of the Core Committee for Naga Political Issue on June 16, 2021.
According to sources, NDPP invited NPF to be part of an all-party government after which NPF legislators met at Dimapur on Monday. 
After a marathon meeting, 18 NPF legislators decided to accept the offer without pre-conditions in the interest of Naga political solution.
Interestingly, it was learnt that the BJP, a constituent of the PDA coalition was yet to make its stand known. The sources said BJP legislators will consult central BJP leaders before taking any decision.
State BJP president and minister Temjen Imna Along could not be reached for his comments.
If the latest arrangement of an all-party government takes place, it will be for the second time in Nagaland. The first all-party government was formed during DAN-III in 2015 when all eight Congress MLAs joined the government and subsequently merged with the NPF. 
Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee president K. Therie has been critical of the formation of the stand of the Core Committee on Naga political issue especially for claiming that its goal was to facilitate early solution to the “ongoing talks”. 
Therie asked what was the need of such committees when the Interlocutor had said in 2019 that all negotiations concluded on October 31, 2019? He said such committees were a waste of time and a drain on the exchequer. 
He had also said legislators have no direct role in the process so the entire purpose of creating forums and committees but was only to cause confusion and delay to an early political solution. 
It may be recalled that Joint Legislature Forum (JLF) comprising of all elected members of the state assembly was formed in 2009 under the assembly speaker, to act as facilitator for the Naga peace talks.
In August 2020, NPF parted ways with JLF due to loss of confidence in the leaders of the ruling party. NPF then formed its Political Affairs Mission (PAM) with the same objective. 
It may be mentioned that government of India’s Interlocutor to Naga Peace Talks R.N. Ravi, who is also governor of Nagaland, declared that official negotiations with all stakeholders concluded on October 31,2019. 
However, agreement appears to be in limbo over the issue of flag and constitution which were rejected by the Modi government. Ravi said flag and constitution were not mentioned in the Framework Agreement. The NSCN (I-M) maintained that the Framework Agreement, which spoke of the unique history of Naga people and their sovereign independent identity, embraced separate Naga flag and constitution and therefore, there was no scope provided to have separate talks for flag and constitution. 
On October 15, 2020 both ruling and opposition legislators including tribal hohos, NGOs etc resolved to work together for the “peace process and strengthen the negotiations” at the consultative meeting at Chief Minister’s Banquet Hall.

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