Nothing Wrong In Expressing Opinion On Naga Political Issue, Says Imchen - Eastern Mirror
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Nothing wrong in expressing opinion on Naga political issue, says Imchen

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Nov 08, 2023 12:24 am
Imchen justifies controversial comment on Naga issue
Imkong L Imchen addressing a press conference on Tuesday at Nagaland Civil Secretariat Kohima. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Advisor for Information and Public Relations, Soil and Water Conservation, Imkong L Imchen, on Tuesday justified that there is nothing wrong in expressing his opinion on the Naga political issue.

“I feel nothing wrong expressing my opinion about our Naga political issue as expressed by many of my colleagues, legislatures etc. in different capacities on different occasions. Above all, the Naga intellects and concerned citizens have been expressing through various media in different platforms, about their anxieties and also the conduct of the Naga political negotiations,” Imchen said.

The advisor was addressing a press conference in his office chamber at Nagaland Civil Secretariat, Kohima, on Tuesday.

The presser was held in the backdrop of his comment on the Naga political issue earlier on October 23 in Mokokchung, which drew the ire of the NSCN (IM).

As a people’s representative in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly since 2003, Imchen asserted that he doesn’t feel there is anything wrong in openly expressing his opinion.

He insisted that he is not interested to start a running argument in this regard with anybody or organisations, though he won’t restrained them from expressing their opinion in any platform.

Maintaining that the Naga people were delighted when the ‘Framework Agreement’ between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) was signed in 2015, the senior politician however lamented that even after eight years nothing “satisfactory” has come out of the agreement.

All this while, the people of Nagaland have been demanding that the Naga political issue should come to a reasonable conclusion, he said.

“I, as a people’s representative since 2003 in the NLA, I am also alive and concerned about the opinion expressed by the general Naga. It is felt imperative on my part to reflect the Naga public opinion in the public domain. I feel nothing wrong for openly expressing their opinion through my mouth. I am fully aware that concerned sections as well as the general public of Nagaland are also having the same opinion, but restraining themselves out of the fear of gun prevailing in the state,” he said.

Clarifying that he had shifted political affiliation from NPF to NDPP and then to BJP, owing to the demand of his people, Imchen wondered as to why the NSCN (IM) is so much against his joining the BJP.

He also pointed out that it was the BJP that had taken the “bold decision” to sign the Framework Agreement under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with RN Ravi as the official interlocutor of the GoI.

He asserted that the Naga political issue is a common Naga agenda based on 1951 Plebiscite under the leadership of AZ Phizo and that even GoI had officially taken cognisance of the Naga issue.

Some of the Naga tribes may not have taken part in the Naga Plebiscite and yet Nagas have struggled together under this plebiscite, he said.

He said the period from 1955 to 1963 can be considered as the darkest moment of Naga political history and that this cannot be just wished away by any individual or organizations, but should be accepted as factual of Naga political struggle.

Maintaining that the Naga people are the real stakeholders of the Naga issue, Imchen asserted that the Naga political issue is not an “individual owned property.”

While claiming that GoI, till today, has not gone against the Framework Agreement officially, he went on to allege that the NSCN (IM), on the other hand, has been expressing its “opinion against the negotiation and the contents.”

“I feel this should be corrected,” he said and added that, apparently, the NSCN (IM) has been playing “delay tactics.”

“Why should there be a stakeholder in this Naga political issue?” Imchen questioned, while asserting that he, being elected by the people to represent them, has the mandate to voice their opinions.

He maintained that in any negotiation when there is a stalemate, both the parties should try to explore other options and adopt flexible position, so that the negotiation can come to a harmonious conclusion.

“I don’t see that the Naga political issue should be a winner takes it all situation,” he said and added that “some agendas” have to be compromised in the spirit of accommodation.

Imchen further lamented that despite several rounds of peace talks, nothing concrete has come out and now Naga people are agitated as they want society to grow.

“Out of the fear of gun culture, Nagas are not coming out to streets, but very soon they will come out,” he said.

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Nov 08, 2023 12:24:26 am
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