TODAY -

Reasons why NPF withdrew from JLF on Naga Political Issue

Kohima, August 26, 2020



TALKING POINTS OF THE LEADER OF OPPOSITION, SH. TR ZELIANG AT THE WORKING COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON AUGUST 26, 2020 AT NPF CENTRAL OFFICE HQs. KOHIMA.

1. REASONS ON WHY THE NPFLP BOYCOTTED THE 6TH SESSION OF THE 13TH NLA HELD ON AUGUST 13, 2020:

(A)The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) Meeting was convened on July 20, 2020 and subsequently, one-day Session was declared despite the request of the two NPF MLAs namely Dr. Chotisuh Sazo and Sh. Amenba Yaden to have a three-day Session, ie. One day discussion on each of the following issue of public importance viz. on Naga Political issue, issue related to COVID-19 and SARFAESI ACT, 2002.

Since the request was turned down, the two NPF MLAs issued a Communiqué the same evening terming the decision arrived at the BAC Meeting as “discriminatory, unfair and unacceptable.” As highlighted in the local dailies the next day on July 21, 2020, the two NPF MLAs had brought the matter to public domain for general awareness on how the present-day Government had once again made “a mockery of democratic practices in the State.”

(B)On July 25, 2020, I wrote a letter to the Speaker proposing for extension of the 6th Session of the 13th NLA “by a few more days wherein the second day of the Session can commence in the month of August as deemed convenient post recess.” However, my proposal too went unattended.

(C)On August 1, 2020,I again wrote a letter to theGovernor, Nagaland for extension of business session to 3 Days, i.e. one-day each for discussing matters related to Naga Political Issue, COVID-19 and SARFAESI ACT, 2002. In my letter, I had suggested 3 options for consideration namely:
1.To convene the 6th Session from August 11, 2020 to August 13, 2020 for a period of 3 days.
2.To differ the commencement date of the 6th Session to a day after August 15.
3.To commence the 6th Session on August 13 as scheduled and adjourn the House without sine die and resume for another 2 days after August 15 (post recess).

(D)On August 3, 2020; based on my letter, the Governor wrote to the Chief Minister. A copy of the letter was endorsed to me and the Hon’ble Speaker. The Hon’ble Governor in his letter clearly indicated that the 6th Session of the 13th NLA should “be of adequate duration to enable it to deliberate over the pressing issues of Nagaland.”

(E)On August 6, 2020; the Hon’ble Speaker replied to the letter of the Hon’ble Governor, a copy of which was endorsed to me and the Additional CS to the Hon’ble Chief Minister. In this letter, instead of considering as indicated by the Hon’ble Governor, the Hon’ble Speaker reaffirmed the decision of holding a one-day Session.

CONCLUSION: The dignity of the NLA and its democratic principles were repeatedly abused on the pretext of implementing COVID-19 measures and in order to protect democratic practices and to maintain the sanctity of the NLA, the Opposition Party Boycotted the one-day session held on August 13, 2020.

2. REASONS ON WHY THE NPFLP WITHDREW FROM THE JOINT LEGISLATORS FORUM (JLF) ON NAGA POLITICAL ISSUE ON AUGUST 18, 2020?

(A)As a responsible Political Party, the Naga Peoples’ Front had played the role of an active facilitator in resolving the Naga political issue at various stages for the last 23 years. Aptly, on formation of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly, the Party volunteered to be part of JLF with ardent hope that the efforts rendered towards the cause would be carried forward in letter and spirit.

However, since it was reconstituted on September 18, 2018, JLF failed to make any progress due to the half-hearted approach of the present day Government. JLF on Naga political issue became a mere Forum without any tangible road-map to the Naga political issue on its part.

(B)The signing of the Framework Agreement between the NSCN (IM) and Government of India on August 3, 2015 and the Agreed Position between the NNPGs and Government of India on November 17, 2017 created a conducive atmosphere for JLF to assist and accelerate the ongoing peace process. Against this backdrop, JLF Meetings were convened only to be followed by inaction on the part of the present day Government rendering the JLF an ineffective Forum.

With utmost sincerity, Legislators of the Naga Peoples’ Front had put forth its proposition in almost all the JLF Meetings that Members in the Forum should call on the Prime Minister of India, the Home Minister of India and other Central leaders in order to pursue the long pending Naga political issue to a logical conclusion. However, the proposal failed to see the light of the day.

(C)As suggested by the Chief Minister, JLF on Naga political issue had constituted a Core Committee with 5 Legislators of the Naga Peoples’ Front out of the total 20 Core Committee Members following which, a total of 3 Meetings took place. In these Meetings, Legislators of the Naga Peoples’ Front had suggested that a Delegation comprising of representing various Political Parties and Tribe representatives should meet the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India in order to apprise them for an early solution which has been a long cherished dream of the Naga people.

Even in the Meeting of the Core Committee last held on March 8, 2020 at Niathu Resort, Dimapur; the same was reiterated. However, the Chief Minister concluded with a proposal to take the sense of JLF before delegation goes to Delhi. At the JLF Meeting held at the Old Chief Minister’s Banquet Hall, Kohima on May 2, 2020; the same was proposed yet again.

Even this time, the Chief Minister came up with another excuse that Civil Societies should first be consulted before such a move is initiated. The Chief Minister of the State had never expressed his mind or divulged his Meetings with the Central leadership in any of the JLF or Core Committee Meetings for the Members to carry forward as facilitator towards realising the Naga political issue.

(D)When October 31, 2019 was set by the Interlocutor as deadline to conclude the talks on Naga political issue, the present day Government paid the least attention in convening a Meeting of the JLF even as the Members from the Naga Peoples Front fervently appealed that a JLF Meeting should be called before the deadline.

The supplication fell on deaf ears and therefore, the NPF Legislature Party Delegation, along with some Party Central Office Bearers (COBs) proceeded to Delhi on October 28, 2019 and met leaders of the 7 NNPGs and the NSCN (IM) on October 29 and 30, 2019 respectively. There was positive response from both the groups and subsequently, on the evening of October 31 2019, it was informed that both the Parties had arrived at a mutual understanding.

(E)On August 5, 2020, the Chief Minister of Nagaland along with the Finance Minister of Assam was called to Delhi by the Home Minister of India and the former left for Delhi on August 6, 2020 by a Chartered Flight and met the Home Minister of India the same day.

While the Chief Minister of Nagaland on his return maintained an eerie silence on what transpired in the Meeting, it was learnt from the Finance Minister of Assam through his interactions with the Media that the Meeting was pertaining to bringing about permanent peace in the NE region and that the Government of India was keen on resolving the Naga issue. However, the CM Nagaland remained silent till date, the reason of which is best known to him.

CONCLUSION: There was huge trust deficit in the JLF on Naga political issue and there was no further purpose in continuing this Forum. There was neither real activity nor productivity on the ground. Furthermore, when the ruling dispensation did not have confidence in the Legislators of the Naga Peoples’ Front, there was no valid reason why the Naga Peoples’ Front had to continue to remain as part of JLF.

In view of all the reasons stated above, the NPF Legislature Party adopted resolution on August 18, 2020 to withdraw its Membership from the Joint Legislators Forum (JLF) on Naga political issue which does not mean we will walk away from the mission of facilitator, rather to perform as a political party with its political vision for the Naga solution. In this regard, the Hon’ble Speaker has written a letter dated August 20, 2020 addressed to me requesting to reconsider the stand of NPFLP withdrawal from JLF.

As committed to the people, I strongly feel that the Party should carry forward with the principle of inclusiveness in solving the long pending Naga political issue and in this regard, I suggest that the Party constitute a PAC to deal with the Naga political issue.

Issued by:
Press Bureau,
Naga People's Front,
Central Headquarters,
Kohima: Nagaland.


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by NPF Bureau who can be contacted at npfpressbureau(AT)rediffmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on 27 August 2020

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