Several parties to stay away from meet on Naga political issue; Congress asks Nagaland CM to step down

The Neiphiu Rio-led government in Nagaland has convened a consultative meeting of all social organisations and stakeholders in the state capital Kohima on Thursday to discuss the ongoing peace talks between Naga nationalist groups and the Central government.

However, several political parties, including the opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF), the Congress and Janata Dal (United), have decided to stay away from the meeting.

Leader of Opposition and former chief minister TR Zeliang, who represents the NPF, said that the regional party would not attend the meeting.

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He pointed out chief minister Rio’s indifferent and wavering attitude as a deterrent towards finding a lasting solution to the vexed issue.

Zeliang said his party hoped that CM Rio would display a positive attitude towards civil society organisations and stakeholders, and the state government would come up with a concrete decision.

The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) issued a statement and condemned the consultative meeting as superfluous. It cited that the negotiating parties had made it clear that the Naga talks had successfully concluded on October 31, 2019, following which the interlocutor and Governor of Nagaland RN Ravi had held a series of consultations with various stakeholders.

“Since we are at the threshold of inking a final agreement, we anticipate that the state government under CM Rio will step down in favour of solution, which has been his commitment for the past 17 years. He has never failed to remind the people of Nagaland about this while addressing every political or social gathering in the state,” the NPCC’s statement read. It urged CM Rio to uphold his commitment and avoid being an obstacle.

The Nagaland unit of the JD (U), which has also announced to skip the meeting, blamed the Rio administration for its failure to handle the issue.

It ,too, urged the CM to demit office following an interim arrangement between the Naga nationalist groups and the Central government.

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