Nagaland MLAs rose above party lines to facilitate solution to Naga political issue: CM

Kohima, Apr 6 (PTI) Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday said that all the 60 members of the state assembly have risen above party lines and are together to facilitate an early and honourable solution to the decades-old Naga political problem.

The assembly on February 18 adopted a resolution to work unitedly to facilitate the ongoing negotiations between the Centre and Naga political groups for a final solution.

“As far as our approach to the Naga political issue is concerned, the elected members of the Nagaland assembly have risen above party affiliations and we have come together under a spirit of oneness in order to facilitate the peace process for an early and honourable solution,” Rio said.

The union government has been holding two separate parleys with the NSCN(IM) since 1997 and Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) comprising seven organizations since 2017.

The Centre signed a framework agreement with the NSCN (IM) on August 3, 2015, and also entered into an agreed position withPGs in December 2017. However, the final conclusion of the talks is yet to be achieved.

The chief minister was addressing a thanksgiving programme on completion of three years of the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government and the unopposed election of H. Chuba Chang, the ruling National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidate for the Noksen assembly bypoll.

On his visit to Delhi last month, Rio said, “We had meetings with Naga National Political Groups and the NSCN(IM) leadership. Our friends in the opposition led by the Leader of the Opposition (T R Zeliang) were also with us.”

They had met central leaders in Delhi after the state assembly adopted the resolution on the Naga political issue.

Rio said that they have urged the negotiating parties to expedite the process and bring about an early solution which is the desire of the people of Nagaland.

He also lauded the people of the Noksen constituency and the PDA alliance for working tirelessly to choose the “best candidate”, H Chuba Chang.

As Chang was the only candidate to file nomination for the by-poll scheduled for April 17, he was declared elected uncontested on April 3, the last date for withdrawal of candidature.

“An excellent precedent has been set and party discipline has been exemplified,” said Rio.

On the completion of three years of his government, he claimed that it has made progressive achievements, though an entire year was lost in battling the pandemic.

The remaining two years of the governments tenure is important in fulfilling the promises made to the people of the state, the chief minister said.

“Our responsibility is to reach governance to the doorstep of every household and each one of us must make sincere efforts towards realisation of this aspiration,” he said.