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No headway on separate state demand in Nagaland even after Shah’s visit

No headway on separate state demand in Nagaland even after Shah's visit

By Sujit Chakraborty

Kohima, Jan 8 (SocialNews.XYZ) With the Nagaland assembly polls knocking at the door and all political parties and civil society organisations keen to solve the Naga political issue before the election, the influential Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) remained firm on a poll boycott if their demand for a separate state was not met.


Union Home Minister Amit Shah's Nagaland visit on Friday could not melt the ice on two vital issues.

Activists of the Nagaland People's Action Committee (NPAC) and civil society organisations displaying placards and banners outside Dimapur airport greeted Shah as he arrived from Imphal on Friday by a chartered plane on his one-day visit to the northeastern state.

Demanding a solution to the long pending Naga political issue, some of the placards read "Ink solution or call off"; "Amit Shahji, you have the power to deliver a solution"; "Settlement, now or never"; "Enough of talk and tall promises, Nagas want action", "Give us solution, not election".

The police confronted the volunteers and took away the banners and placards while the activists held the rally peacefully to press for their demand.

Former Odisha governor and ex-Nagaland Chief Minister S.C. Jamir was among those who met Shah at Niathu Resort in Dimapur.

During his over half an hour discussion with Shah, Jamir reportedly told him that Nagas were crying for an early solution to the political issue and that the Central government cannot afford to ignore it.

He told Shah that since the Naga stakeholders have signed their respective agreements after 25 years of negotiations, it was high time that the Central government came out with the much-expected solution.

Jamir reminded Shah that since Naga political sovereignty and integration were not under negotiation and that as the Centre has rejected outright the demand to include a Naga flag and constitution as part of the solution, a solution was the only outcome.

Jamir said if there is a delay due to the separate flag and constitution issues, then the government should ask the NSCN (I-M) if it is sincere about a peaceful solution and to give a time frame to end the stalemate.

In another development, despite the Nagaland government's repeated appeals, the ENPO remained firm to boycott the assembly elections, expected to be held in February.

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) government last week once again asked the ENPO to reconsider their demand for a separate state and not to boycott the forthcoming assembly elections.

The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) led UDA is India's first all party and opposition-less government. The BJP is also an ally of the UDA.

Parliamentary Affairs, Planning and Coordination Minister Neiba Kronu said that the state cabinet, in its meeting on January 3, resolved that the government would appeal to the ENPO to reconsider their demand for a separate state of 'Frontier Nagaland' and not to boycott the assembly elections.

The minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit the state in the second week of January.

"After the visit of the Prime Minister and Home Minister (who already visited on Friday) some decision on the demand would be taken." Neiba Kronu said.

Talking to IANS over the phone, ENPO secretary W. Manwang Konyak said that they are firm on boycotting the assembly polls if their demand is not met before the elections.

To a question about the Nagaland government's appeal, the ENPO leader said: "We are waiting for the response from the Central government. The Union Home Minister will again come to Tuensang in Nagaland at the end of this month and is expected to visit our region to discuss the separate state demand."

The ENPO along with its associate organisations would soon meet to discuss the future course of action.

"Boycott of the elections and other course of action would depend on the response of the Central government," the Naga leader said.

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.

In support of their demand for creation of 'Frontier Nagaland', seven tribes of Nagaland, rejecting the state government's appeal, had boycotted the 'Hornbill Festival' held from December 1-10.

A central team, constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs and headed by Adviser, North East, A.K. Mishra, during its visit to Nagaland in mid-December, held a series of meetings with various Naga bodies including ENPO, Eastern Nagaland Women Organisation, Eastern Nagaland Students' Federation and 'Gaon Bura Union' representatives.

Meanwhile, the Nagaland Congress has asked all the 60 MLAs of the state to resign in support of the demand for a solution to the Naga political issue.

NPCC president K Therie said this at a press conference here.

"If the UDA leadership is sincere, they should ask all the legislators to submit their resignation and the Centre to resolve the Naga political issue at the earliest," Nagaland state Congress president K Therie said.

Saying that "enough is enough", he asked the Central government not to keep the Naga people in suspense.

The influential Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) said that the Nagaland BJP leadership is playing with fire even as the Central government is trying its best to find permanent peace in the state through negotiated political settlements with the Naga political groups.

The anti-solution stance of Nagaland BJP president Temjen Imna along with his cohorts has greatly hampered the progress and fruition of the Naga political talks, a statement issued by the NNPG said.

The NNPG said that in 1998 the Congress went against the wishes of the Naga people by going ahead with the election, instead of a solution.

"They (Congress) assumed power uncontested. They failed to honour the people's demand and rather believed that they had wiped out all the other regional parties in Nagaland. The Naga people responded by promptly showing the Congress the exit door. Sadly, the Congress is struggling to regain the confidence of the people," the NNPG stated.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at

Source: IANS

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No headway on separate state demand in Nagaland even after Shah's visit

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