Naga peace talks: NNPGs ask legislators to clear stand

In the statement, the NNPGs asserted that the elected representatives of Nagaland should not be maintaining a neutral stand on the matter, now that the government was keen on finding a solution. (PTI File Photo)

Ahead of another round of peace talks on October 31, the seven-parties conglomeration- NNPGs- which is pushing for an early resolution to the vexed political issue, has urged elected representatives not to maintain "neutral stand" and clear their position when the government was keen to find a solution to the matter.

The Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) - holding separate talks with the Centre since 2017- made the appeal to the elected representatives through a statement released by its media cell on Sunday night.

The Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland, Isak- Muivah (NSCN-IM), which signed a framework agreement with the Centre in August 2015, had been insisting on a separate flag and constitution, despite the government's refusal to grant its request.

Nagaland Governor R N Ravi, who is also Centre's interlocuter will be holding a talk with the NSCN-IM in Delhi on Monday. Ravi had said on October 19 that the NSCN-IM "has adopted a procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and constitution on which it was fully aware of the government of India's position".

In the statement, the NNPGs asserted that the elected representatives of Nagaland should not be maintaining a neutral stand on the matter, now that the government was keen on finding a solution.

"Unresolved matters should be decided through political and democratic process... The position and status of elected representatives of Nagaland cannot remain lukewarm They cannot choose to hide behind the boulders blocking the way," it said.

The Centre had set a deadline for peace talks, in the wake of the Naga society's demand for an early solution to the six-decade-old issue, the statement insisted.

"It is time for political parties in Nagaland to clear their stand in the interest of the Naga people... If the political parties of Nagaland fail in their constitutional duties and obligations, they should resign and allow the Election Commission of India to derecognise the parties," the NNPGs, which has seven Naga outfits as its members, added.

The statement came two days after a senior NSCN-IM leader, along with 16 others, quit the rebel group accusing it of being "insensitive" to the people's plea for an honourable solution to the vexed issue, and joined the NNPGs.

Claiming that future of Naga generations must not be jeopardised by unresolved symbolic issues, Hukavi Yeputhomi said the working committee of the NNPGs had been more "practical and realistic" in its negotiation with the Centre.

Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and BJP coalition is in power in the Northeastern state of Nagaland. Naga People's Front (NPF) headed by former chief minister TR Zeliang is the main opposition party in the state.

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