TODAY -

Heading for a 1998 repeat ? Call from CSOs, pol parties
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: January 29 2018 -



No political party will file nominations in accordance with the wishes of the people.

This was the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations (CCNTHCO).

Solution is about future of the Nagas whereas election is about the Indian Constitution.

This was Rh Raising senior NSCN (IM) leader and convenor of the Steering Committee, the highest decision making body of the NSCN (IM).

Earlier, the NSCN (IM) had also echoed the same line of thought stating that it is solution which the people want not election. Ditto too with the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).

Not yet a formal call to boycott the upcoming Assembly election in Nagaland scheduled on February 27, but it has all the ingredients of political parties and voters staying away from the poll process.

The question is, will Nagaland witness a repeat of 1998 when the Naga Hoho spearheaded the boycott call of the election under the slogan, ‘Solution Not Election’.

More importantly if such things come to pass, how will it impact on the political dialogue underway between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India.

Moreover there is also the six NNPGs, to be taken note of.

Political negotiation and the ultimate outcome or final solution is central to the present issue and given the nature of the issue at hand, it is not surprising to see that the negotiation has been on since 1997, the year that the cease fire pact was signed between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India.

There is also the question of the Khaplang faction. Can New Delhi overlook their presence and go ahead with the final solution without them on board ?

Early days yet on which way the wind will blow but already the heat must be on the BJP led Government at Delhi.

It is also significant to note that the BJP did attend the consultative meeting where the decision that no political parties will file nominations was taken.

So if the election goes ahead as scheduled and if the political parties stick to their stand, then can one expect to see an election sans the participation of any political party.

Candidates entering the fray as Independents is also highly unlikely for no one in Nagaland would dare to go against the collective stand of the different political parties and CSOs.

Tough to say how the BJP led Government at Delhi will respond to the call from the different CSOs and the political parties, but the message has already been delivered and that is the people of Nagaland want a solution and not election at this point of time.

The now or never stand is understandable for remember the peace process has been underway since 1997 and 20 years is indeed a long time.

How the BJP led Government works its way out from the present state remains to be seen, but it will take more than political acumen and bargaining ability on the part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the other BJP leaders to ensure that the peace process is not derailed at this point of time.

The sense of urgency felt by the people of Nagaland is understandable and the situation that New Delhi finds itself in is also understood for the issue here is not something easy.



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