Kohima, Jan 17, 2023, IANS
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday said that his government would not allow any constitutional crisis caused due to the civil society being adamant about not participating in the forthcoming Assembly election in the event that the Naga political issue remained unresolved.
The solution to the much-expected Naga political issue depends on the negotiating parties and the legislators and common people can only put pressure on an early solution, Rio, who is also the top leader of the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) told the media on the sideline of a programme.
The Chief Minister, who is likely to leave for New Delhi on Wednesday, welcomed the joint statement of the NSCN-IM and Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) declaring "unconditional commitment" to collaborate for the resolution of Naga political issues with the Central government.
"Everyone wants a solution to the Naga issue. The solution depends on the negotiating parties and not the common people ... People can put pressure. All the 60 members of the Assembly are acting as facilitators and continuing their pressure too," Rio said.
Besides the Naga political issue, the influential Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) remained firm to boycott the elections if their demand for a separate state -- of 'Frontier Nagaland' -- was not met before polls.
Despite the Nagaland government's repeated appeals, the powerful Naga group remained firm to boycott the Assembly elections.
Claiming that the six districts -- Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire, Longleng, Noklak and Shamator -- have been neglected for years, the ENPO has been demanding a separate state since 2010.
On the state government's appeal to ENPO to reconsider its decision to boycott the state election to press for its separate state demand, Rio hoped that they would respond in a "positive manner".
The Centre has been holding separate negotiations with the dominant Naga outfit NSCN-IM since 1997 and the NNPG, comprising at least seven groups, since 2017. A Framework Agreement was signed with NSCN-IM in 2015 and Agreed Position with NNPGs in 2017. The stalemate continued as the NSCN-IM remained firm on its demand for a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas.