State

Political upgrade post-solution: Wangtin

Political upgrade post-solution: Wangtin
Wangtin Naga (News18)
GUWAHATI, NOV 3 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 11/3/2019 11:34:52 AM IST

Following decades-long negotiations between the Naga politicla groups and the government of India, NSCN (Reformation) president and co-convenor of the Working Committee (WC) of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), Wangtin Naga has disclosed that Nagas will be allowed to use the Naga national flag, albeit on a few conditions, as per the final agreement that will be signed on November 15.

“We have agreed with the government that the Naga people can use the Naga National Flag for religious, traditional and cultural purposes. We will also get a written Constitution based on our customary laws,” Wangtin, disclosed in an interview with News18.

According to Wangtin, each of the Naga groups in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur will be governed by territorial councils.

He also disclosed that the number of seats in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly will increase from 60 to 80. “The number of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha seat will also increase from one to three,” he added. “We will get an arms battalion, where all cadres of the Naga Army can join. The name of the regiment hasn’t been decided upon yet”, Wanting said.

He categorically added that Naga civil society, church leaders, tribal bodies will be signatories to the final agreement. “Nobody can point fingers at anyone after the final agreement,” he said.

Wangtin’s statement comes against the backdrop of the intense negotiations that went on through five meetings between NSCN (I-M) and government of India, from October 24 till the final day of the deadline on October 31 set by the government of India after which, no further negotiations would be held. At one stage, it seemed that the road block over inclusion of Naga flag and constitution as among clauses in the final agreement could derail solution with NSCN (I-M). However, a consensus was reached on the last day after five meetings (October 24, 26, 29, 30 and 31) and which cleared the decks for pursuing a broad-based ‘One Political Problem, One Solution.’

WC of NNPGs had earlier welcomed the breakthrough over the two issues as “ a practical and realistic approach in arriving at a conclusion of negotiations by acceptance of the reality of the time. WC had said during its negotiations with the government of India, that the latter had endorsed the usage of Naga emblem/flag “specifically for cultural identity within Naga Homeland”. However, WC of NNPGs reiterated that it will raise the issue post-solution through a political and democratic process since Naga flag is a political symbol which could not be “confined to socio-cultural activities.” 

On October 31 after the conclusive meeting with the Interlocutor, a senior NSCN (I-M) leader, while speaking to Nagaland Post and who was part of the delegation, said both sides “finalised all contentious issues” and agreed to pursue the two demands through “peaceful political process”.

As part of implementing any foreseeable deal, the issue on everyone’s mind is whether it would be preceded by installation of an ‘interim government’ in Nagaland comprising of Naga national leaders or would there be imposition of President’s Rule.

Implementing a foreseeable agreement will also be a task for the government of India as it would have to include Nagas in other states like Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The other aspect is on demobilisation of armed cadres and rehabilitation as well as decommission both of which are consequential packages.

Various organisations in Nagaland such as NCD’s Public Action Committee are hoping that solution would ultimately close the chapter of unabated taxations that have roused huge public outcry during the past decade.

Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi has also been concerned over this issue and had openly expressed his displeasure about it.


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