TODAY -

Vested interests sabotaging talks: IM
Source: The Sangai Express / The Asian Age

Guwahati, February 26 2017: Just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Manipur visit, National Social Council of Nagaland (I-M) has expressed fear that a section of vested interest circle may try to sabotage the Naga peace-talks.

The NSCN (I-M) in a statement said that certain individuals are engaged in a campaign to sabotage the peace talk with a new approach, "Nagas of Naga- land", and "treacherous venom", and are demanding the content of the framework agreement.

Asserting that it would not deter the dedication of true Nagas, the NSCN (I-M) said that Naga people hope that NSCN (I-M) will bring peace and honourable negotiated settlement of the Naga goals.

The statement is significant, as it has come just before the PM's visit to Manipur where Naga peace-talk has been one of the core issues in the March 4 and 8 Assembly polls.

In an obvious attempt to widen the Naga and non-Naga divide in the Assem- bly elections, Manipur chief minister Ibobi Singh has intensified the rhetoric on Naga peace-talks, saying, "We expect that the Prime Minister would also apprise the people of Manipur about the content of the draft agreement signed with NSCN (I-M) in his election campaign" .

The NSCN (I-M) has already strained relationship with New Delhi on the issue of economic blockade, which has been a major setback for the BJP in the elections.

Though economic bloc-kade is called by United Naga Council of Manipur, it is effective on the ground because of NSCN (I-M) backing.

The blockade called before the polls has not only polarised Imphal valley, but has also triggered speculation in security circle about some discreet understanding between NSCN (I-M) and ruling establishment in Manipur.

If security sources present in the tripartite meeting in New Delhi to end the 100-days long blockade are to be referred, the UNC leaders had agreed to end it but NSCN (I-M) insisted on prolonging the blockade.

Political observers in Manipur say that the blockade has helped the ruling Congress in polarising its support base in Imphal, which accounts for 40 out of 60 Assembly seats in Manipur.

The NSCN (I-M), in its statement, also said, "The Government of India has recognised the legal rights of the Nagas and candidly proclaimed integration of their legitimate rights." The press note issued by the NSCN (IM) stated the Framework Agreement signed with the Centre is a milestone in the history of Naga peace-talks.


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