TODAY -

NPF seeks 'Timeline' for resolving Naga issue
Source: The Sangai Express / PTI

Kohima, January 25 2018: A day after the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) in Nagaland decided to reinstate its ties with the BJP, a senior State Minister on Wednesday asked the saffron party to come out with the "exact timeline" of bringing to rest the vexed Naga political issue.

Various Naga organisations are in favour of holding the Assembly election after a solution is found.

Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav, party in-charge of Nagaland, had said on Monday that conducting polls first would bring the solution closer.

"If Madhav wants to put this as a condition, it will be very good on his part to give us the exact timeline to bring about a settlement," Health and Family Welfare Minister Imkong L Imchen said.

The Framework Agreement with the NSCN (IM) was signed almost three years ago and 20 years have passed since the ceasefire pact was inked with it, he said.

The NSCN (IM) has been engaged in peace talks with the Central Government since 1997 when they announced a ceasefire agreement after a bloody insurgency movement which started in Nagaland soon after the country's Independence.

"Madhav is well aware that four Assembly elections have been held by the Naga people after the ceasefire agreement with the NSCN (IM).

Still he thinks that solution to the Naga political issue is not closer unless another Assembly election is held," he said.

The NPF on Tuesday decided to reinstate its ties with the BJP and also go to the February 27 Assembly polls in Nagaland with TR Zeliang as its Chief Ministerial candidate, a party release said.

The NPF had severed ties with the BJP on July 18 last year but its central office-bearers had on January 15 referred the matter to the party's Central Executive Council, which favoured resuming ties with the saffron party.

The BJP had been in alliance with the NPF since 2003 .

Election for the 60-member Nagaland Assembly is slated for February 27.The NPF leader praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Framework Agreement and bringing peace talks with the NSCN (IM) under the PMO.

Previously it was under the Union Home Ministry.

"Naga people interpreted this as a sign of sincerity and commitment to bring about the long standing Naga political issue to an amicable settlement," he said.

On the statement of Naga Hoho and other civil societies that elections would not be allowed before finding the solution to the Naga issue, Imcheng said he does not know whether it is intending to boycott the elections.

The NPF wants elections to be deferred or postponed, the senior Minister said.

"We know we are winning the elections, but we are ready to forego the opportunity for the sake of Naga political settlement," he said.


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