Cong, BJP spar over Naga accord

Cong, BJP spar over Naga accord

The war of words between the Congress and the BJP over the Naga peace process showed no signs of abating.

A day after BJP sought to justify not involving North-East chief ministers in the peace process by referring to the then prime minister Indira Gandhi, Congress hit back at the Modi government accusing it of spreading untruths.

“This is untrue,” AICC spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters reacting to reports in a section of the media that Indira Gandhi had kept North-East chief ministers in the dark about the Shillong Accord. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said on Saturday that Indira Gandhi had not consulted North-East chief ministers before signing the Shillong Accord which was the first peace pact with Nagas.

“Mrs Gandhi consulted the chief ministers and each term of the Shillong Accord was placed in the public domain,” Singhvi said, rejecting the BJP’s charges. “BJP should not resort to misinformation and distortion. We have heard them saying the Shillong Accord did not involve consultation,” he said.

Sitharaman had also rejected Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s claims that interlocutors of the peace process cannot be the signatories of a peace agreement. She said the then Nagaland governor Lallan Prasad Singh was the interlocutor and the signatory for the Shillong Accord. Congress President Sonia Gandhi had attacked the Modi government for not consulting the chief ministers of party-ruled states – Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh before signing the “peace accord” on August 3.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Arunachal Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had rushed to Delhi demanding the details of the peace accord be made public.

Singh and Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang had met Modi on Saturday. While BJP said Zeliang had been in touch with Modi continuously, it has been conveyed to the other chief ministers that they would be consulted before the final agreement with NSCN (I-M) would be signed.

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