‘Solution not election’ redux gains steam
Naga orgs. ask ECI to withhold election notification
Kohima, Jan. 25 (EMN): A meeting of Naga tribes and civil society organizations along with some political parties held Jan. 25 has decided to approach the Election Commission of India (ECI) to withhold the issue of election notification which is scheduled on Jan. 31, in the interest of ‘peace and tranquillity’ in the state.
The joint consultative meeting, convened by the co-ordination committee of Naga civil society was held at Hotel Japfü in Kohima and was attended by the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO), Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC), Central Naga Tribal Council (CNTC), Naga Hoho, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Naga Mothers Association (NMA), Nagaland GBs Federation (NGBF), Indigenous Minority Tribes of Nagaland (IMTN), Acaut, United Naga Tribes Association on Border Area (UNTABA) and NWSWN, and different political parties including the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC), JD (U), Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Nagaland Congress (Nagaland Reformation Party). The ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party were conspicuously absent, so was the National People’s Party (NPP).
During the meeting, members of different organisations shared their views on the popular demand of the civil society organizations on ‘solution before election’. Cutting across group or tribal affiliations, they agreed that the peace talks on the Indo-Naga issue has dragged on for too long (20 years) and following the signing of the ‘framework agreement’ between the government of India and the NSCN (IM) in 2015 and also the expansion of dialogue with six more Naga groups last year, the ensuing assembly election must be put on hold in order to create a congenial atmosphere for a solution to the long standing issue. The representatives of political parties at the meeting expressed their solidarity to the call of the Naga civil organizations, however, they voiced apprehension that some party might take advantage of the situation and there would be a repeat of the 1998 election where all the political parties heeded to the boycott call of election except for one, which subsequently formed the government.
The house discussed the matter at length and resolved to support the Nagaland Legislative Assembly resolution adopted on Dec. 15 last that there must be solution of the Naga political issue before election in Nagaland. Basing on this, the house decided to have the following action plans: to form a core committee with all tribal hohos and civil organizations under the nomenclature of ‘Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations’ (CCNTHCO) with civil organisations and tribal hoho presidents in the committee to pursue the resolutions; the core committee will call upon the political parties to uphold their respective resolutions including the resolution of NLA on solution before election and will further implore upon them to have consensus on the issue by respecting the sentiments of the people.
The delegates of the meeting also decided to write to the government of India to revoke the ban imposed on NSCN (K) and to remove the ‘terrorist organisation’ tag on the group, and also to appeal to NSCN (K) to re-establish ceasefire with the government of India and participate in the process of political negotiation in the ‘greater interest of the Naga people’.
Meanwhile, the house seriously viewed the ‘election for solution’ statement made by the BJP national general secretary and in-charge of north east states, Ram Madhav, with regard to election in Nagaland. “While the Nagas are unequivocally expressing their longing for political solution at the earliest before election, such illogical and insensitive rhetoric is out rightly rejected,” a statement from the committee stated.