TODAY -

Veteran Naga leader Jamir congratulates Advani for Bharat Ratna

Nirendra Dev *



"As the literal translation of the nomenclature 'Bharat Ratna' suggests - Shri L K Advani ji has been truly a 'Jewel of India'. In 2024, political observers are bound to admit that the veteran Advani would always be remembered for bringing about a major transition in Indian politics especially since the 1990s." - S C Jamir said in a statement. Jamir was a former Governor Gujarat, Odisha, Maharashtra and Goa and of course a ex Chief Minister, Nagaland.

In his statement, Jamir said, "We belong to the same generation of Indian politicians. Shri Advani was born 8th November, 1927. I was born four years later 17th October, 1931. I went to Parliament as a member of Lok Sabha in 1961.

I was elected by the Interim Body of Nagaland as the first representative to Lok Sabha in 1961 just before the state of Nagaland was formed. L K Advani came to Parliament first time in 1970 as a member of the Rajya Sabha and served four terms till 1989.

L K Advani came to Parliament first time in 1970 as a member of the Rajya Sabha and served four terms till 1989. From then till 2014 - he was a member of Lok Sabha elected from various constituencies including New Delhi and Gandhinagar. In 2015, Advani was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour.

On Feb 3rd, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country's highest civilian award - Bharat Ratna - will be conferred to L K Advani.

It's a befitting tribute to a leader who stood steadfast in giving his party BJP,and the country a decisive and assertive leadership. As a Congressman for many decades, we were also political opponents and there were occasions we had differences in approach on many issues of politics and governance."

Jamir also said, "I worked closely with him closely in a sense when he became the central Home Minister under Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and I was the Chief minister of Nagaland in 1998. During my interactions with Shri Advani and also the then prime minister Late Vajpayee, I told them that the Ceasefire in Nagaland as announced between the NSCN-IM and then Prime Minister, I. K Gujral government in 1997 was actually an initiative of the underground leaders".

The veteran Naga leader maintained: "The fact of the matter is by 1996-97, my government had built up pressure on underground elements and their nefarious activities like extortion. Even globally many countries including in South East Asia had developed new policies towards militancy and terrorism.

So, my moot point was that the Gujral government should have handled the entire thing with the NSCN-IM from a position of 'strength'. But that might not have been the case. Even the negotiations were being held in foreign countries just because the NSCN-IM leaders insisted on the same. Once I told Advani ji, "often the Gujral Government acted innocently on many matters" and he would laugh."

"I used to share my opinion that the Nagaland state government was still in the dark on what "is being discussed".

In fact, both Vajpayee and Shri Advani could not tell me more. Vajpayee ji used to smile and told me that as long as the underground would like to talk, we can go on talking even for a hundred years because talking is not difficult..

Today, maybe everyone is realising that the Naga peace talks have gone far too long. And it is high time that both agreements that were formally signed with the underground groups should be announced officially by the Government of India without any hesitation."

The former Chief Minister said, "I will take this opportunity to also congratulate Prime Minister Modi's government for the decision taken in 2024 to honour L K Advani. He is a befitting candidate for that coveted award. But the central government under Shri Modi will also do well to resolve the Naga issue at the earliest. This will change the scenario in northeast India.

I have said earlier as well, if a Solution is announced, Prime Minister Modi will be remembered by the Naga people as a great statesman," Jamir added.

In a surprise move on Feb 3, PM Narendra Modi tweeted to announce that BJP patriarch Advani will be conferred with Bharat Ratna.

Advani's son, Jayant Advani, thanked the Prime Minister for honouring his father with the Bharat Ratna. He said that it is wonderful to see his father's efforts being recognised in this magnificent way at this stage of his life.


* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 04 February 2024 .



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