‘Reconciled’ NPF legislators yet to meet
‘Memorandum of reconciliation’ yet to paper over cracks among warring legislators
Kohima, Dec. 12 (EMN): While the news of a reconciliation between the erstwhile warring factions of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) are rife, particularly after Chief Minister TR Zeliang and NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu signed a ‘memorandum of reconciliation’ on Dec. 8, some internal rumbles evidently continue to persist.
The MLAs on Liezietsu’s side failed to turn up at the Legislators’ pre-Christmas service, an annual affair hosted by the chief minister, which was held on Dec. 12.
Talking to media persons on the sidelines of the event, Zeliang admitted that the ‘newly reconciled’ groups were yet to meet, except for the delegates of the reconciliation meeting. He also denied some local media reports that there was going to be a reshuffle in the ministry.
“So far we have not decided anything. No reshuffle or change of guard has been discussed….Both groups are yet to meet also, so we do not know what they are thinking. Hopefully, we will discuss tomorrow,” Zeliang said.
He was positive that they will be meeting on Dec.13 during the scheduled traditional DAN legislature meeting which takes place before an ensuing Assembly session. The Governor has summoned the 19th session of the 12th NLA on Dec. 14.
On the current reconciliation, the chief minister said it was necessitated because of the fear that the Election Commission of India (ECI) could freeze the NPF party symbol and he feels that it would not do well with the Naga people if the party symbol was frozen at this juncture.
“In order to avoid all these unpredictable situations, we have decided to reconcile. All the likeminded group will work together,” he stated.
When pointed out that similar disputes in other states did not face freezing of party symbols, Zeliang admitted that in the NPF issue, there was overlapping in CEC signatures- that some have signed for both the groups. Other than this, he said the majority of legislature was very clear. “We hope both sides will be true to the reconciliation,” he stated.
On the Naga peace talks, Zeliang reiterated the legislators’ view that solution should come before election. However, in the event that the ECI announces the election, he said they were duty-bound under the constitution of India, to face election. “But we urge upon the government of India that solution should come before election, or in the event it does not, election should be deferred or postponed,” he said.
On his constant meeting with the central leaders and made repeated appeals on the matter, he said “we are getting good responses from the union home minister and even the president of India, they have assure that they would do their best: that solution comes before 2018 election, but no one can guarantee.”
“We are hopeful, though,” he added.