Thursday, October 6, 2022

Chishi blames all 60 MLAs for stalling talks

Staff Reporter

Former chief minister and senior Congress leader KL Chishi has accused all 60 legislators, irrespective of party affiliation, for the “stalemate and stalling of peace talks between Government of India and Naga national workers”.
He said this while interacting with a section of the public and supporters during a tour of Zunheboto town and 32Atoizu Assembly constituency, from where he had won previous elections. It was learnt that the veteran politician is set to contest the 2023 Assembly polls on Congress ticket from Atoizu.
On the current scenario in Nagaland, Chishi said “We are in a mess. High time for MLAs to resign to facilitate solution and peace.”
Chishi said the stalemate was the creation of the state government and not one or two individuals but all 60 legislators irrespective of party affiliations.
He reminded that in a democracy, the people’s pledge was sacred and that if elected members promised something then they ought to honour their promises.
That was why elected members are referred to as “honourable MLAs and ministers”. However, when they do not keep promises made then “something is amiss,” he added. Responding to a query on the role of facilitator, he mentioned that facilitator was a powerful word. As someone with a law background, he said he had been taught to be careful with every word as each word had its own significance.
“So, when some people say we are facilitators, that means you are promising to do anything and sacrifice anything for facilitating something. In Nagaland, this meansa solution and lasting peace,” he added.
In the present situation, Chishi maintained that there had been a huge contradiction as the current legislators, ministers and even chief minister Neiphiu Rio had all taken oath under the Constitution of India.
“The conflict starts from here because Naga national workers say this is dispute. So, my question is what will the Rio government facilitate when it had taken oath under the Constitution of India? Our chief minister and MLAs are duty bound to protect and safeguard the interest of Indian nation and have to honour and implement every word of the Constitution of India,” he pointed out.
Therefore, he said Nagas must understand that if this government and the elected MLAs wanted to play the role of a genuine facilitator as they had been claiming, they had to step aside. “There is no second option. There is no middle path,” he asserted.
The former chief minister declared that rhetoric would not help as Nagas had seen enough rhetoric. If the MLAs wanted to be true facilitators, he urged them to apply their minds and resign en bloc.
Also, in the context of Naga political solution, Chishi said then chief minister SC Jamir should not have misled the Congress party into contesting the 1998 Assembly elections which were boycotted by all parties under the slogan ‘Solution Not Election’.
“I was with NDM. Esteemed Naga leader late Hokishe Sema was our leader in the party. He was very categorical and had said if by staying away from elections and not becoming ministers and MLAs, we can bring peace in Nagaland, we owe it to ourselves.”
Unfortunately, Chishi said BJP did not appreciate what it itself did in 1998 and also NPF, erstwhile NPC. He mentioned that Rio was repeating the mistake that Jamir made in 1998.
“Nagas have to be aware of these situations and take a stand perhaps immediately before things get derailed,” he cautioned.