Nagaland Set for Elections Sans Accord
Nagaland is set for elections next year with the hopes of a Naga accord with the NSCN IM and the Working Committee of the NNPGs nowhere in sight.
Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on December 18 revealedv that there may be no breakthrough in the ongoing Naga talks before Christmas. During the stay in Delhi, the NSCN (I-M) held series of meetings with Government of India’s representative for Naga Talks, AK Mishra indicated Rio but there has been no breakthrough.
Impasse in Talks with NSCN IM Continues
One of the factors adding to expectations was frustration of the Naga people at large devoid of a solution which may manifest in lack of participation in the State elections to be held in 2023. NSCN IM is also facing the heat of the public ire.
However, a statement by the NSCN (I-M) collective leadership on December 16 indicates that there is unlikely to be a compromise on the demand for separate identity of a Constitution and flag for the Nagas which has been the sticking point so far.
The basis of the December 16, statement apparently was the 2015 Framework Agreement (FA) that was signed by the NSCN IM leadership with the Government of India in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
The statement as per Nagaland Post was jointly signed by NSCN (I-M) chairman Q. Tuccu, vice chairman Tongmeth Wangnao and general secretary Th. Muivah, explained that: “The Government of India recognises the unique history and position of the Nagas.”
By unique history, they said “Nagas have the history of independence. The Nagas have neither been a part of Union of India nor that of Burma (Myanmar), nor any other power by consent or by conquest. Similarly, thee leaders said that unique position meant “position and situation of Nagalim is political”.
The statement claimed that the Government of India had admitted the historical fact that the sovereign Naga people had not accepted the Indian constitution and that they did not accept it.
While the Framework Agreement text is not public, the NSCN IM had released the same in 2021 and in that version phrases as, “sharing the sovereign power” and providing for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities,” is claimed as defining the claims for sovereignty.
The NSCN-IM claims that Mr. Ravi, also former Nagaland Governor deleted the word new from the original to justify his own narrative and circulated to the other Naga groups including the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).
State elections in Nagaland and ENPO
CM Rio also indicated that elections will be held as scheduled in 2023 and the political parties will participate in the same. “If solution does not come and election is announced, we have to participate and they should not misunderstand,” he said referring to possible criticism from the Naga groups which are holding talks with the Central Government.
Meanwhile, Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) is not likely to participate in the polls. The ENPO held its Central Executive Council meeting at CKS Hall Tuensang on Monday reaffirmed to stick by its August 26, 2022 resolution not to take part in “any election process of the Central and State until and unless a separate Statehood- (Frontier Nagaland)-is granted by the Government of India, as demanded by the people of Eastern Nagaland under the aegis of ENPO.”
n MHA team– headed by MHA advisor (North East) AK Mishra and members–Intelligence Bureau joint director Dr Mandeep Singh Tuli and director (NE Division) in MHA AK Dhyani met with representatives with the ENPO and will be briefing Home Minister Mr Amit Shah on the deliberations.