Solution to Naga peace talks long overdue, Cong is hope for development: Tharoor

KOHIMA, 23 Feb: Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor has said that the solution to the Naga peace talks is long overdue, and that his party wants to see it resolved.

Addressing an election rally at the Congress Bhavan here, he said that Nagaland lacks basic amenities such as water, electricity, health and road infrastructure even after 60 years of attaining statehood, and that the Congress is the hope for development and progress in the Northeastern state.

“Nagas deserve better than this kind of deception, corruption, dishonesty and inefficiency,” Tharoor said on Wednesday.

“The Narendra Modi government had in 2015 announced that a Naga accord was achieved, but later backtracked

 saying it was only a framework agreement. They are now saying that talks are underway,” he said.

In 2019, the then Nagaland governor and Centre’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks, RN Ravi, had declared that the issue would be resolved in only three months but four years have passed since then, Tharoor said, blaming the BJP for “deceiving” the people.

On basic amenities, the MP from Kerala said the government must provide regular power supply, serviceable roads, quality drinking water and good healthcare and education.

“Such basic essentials are the core need of any human being in any area, but the government of the day has failed to provide these,” he said.

The Congress leader alleged that the BJP has been “fooling” the Nagas by saying one thing in the Northeastern state and something else in other parts of the country.

“The BJP should not be allowed to conceal its basic orientation, that is the belief in ‘one nation, one religion, one language, one culture and one leader,'” he said, citing alleged attacks on religious minorities and wondering why the state government remained silent.

On how the Congress would form government by contesting only 23 seats in the 60-member Nagaland assembly, he said that “it is an era of coalition” and expressed hoped that if his party wins enough seats, other like-minded parties will come together to bring a change.

“Currently, we don’t have any MLA in the assembly but Congress is the hope for development and solution to long-pending problems to make a better Nagaland,” he added.

The assembly elections will be held on 27 February and votes will be counted on 2 March. (PTI)