Amit Shah Meets CM Rio-led Delegation, Govt Urged to Arrive at ‘Inclusive’ Solution

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday met a delegation of the Nagaland government led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and held discussions over the Naga political issue (NPI) during a meeting in New Delhi.

Amid media reports of the Centre “accepting” the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM)’s demand for a separate flag and Yehzabo’ (constitution), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified that negotiations are underway and any such “possible solutions” would be speculative.

The union home ministry in a series of tweets said talks over the Naga issues have been in progress for several years. “It has always been the endeavour of the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have a peaceful and prosperous North East,” a statement said.

Noting “many complicated issues that are involved in the Naga talks”, the MHA said the government is determined to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion to the negotiations. “Since negotiations are still ongoing, any report on possible solutions to various issues during the negotiations would only be speculative,” it added.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Shah asked the all-party Nagaland government to convince the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) to ink the final solution to the Naga political issue, state Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Neiba Kronu told PTI.

He further said the Nagaland government’s Core Committee on NPI submitted its July 16 resolution and asked Shah to revisit the contentious issues and bring a solution to the issue. “As the talks had been officially concluded on October 31, 2019, Modi and Shah were urged upon by the Core Comittee to invite the NSCN(IM) leaders for an early conclusion,” he was quoted as saying.

Reminding Shah of BJP’s ‘Election for Solution’ slogan in the 2018 state election, the senior BJP leader was also requested to work towards a conclusion to the Naga issue before the state polls scheduled early next year.

Kronu said, the delegation also stressed on a provision in the resolution which laid emphasis on the negotiating parties arriving at a “mutually acceptable definition of competencies” and bringing about an “honourable, accptable and inclusive” final solution.

The talks with NSCN-IM began in 1997 following the signing of a breakthrough ceasefire agreement and the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015.

The Centre has been holding parallel peace parleys with NSCN-IM and the Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups (WC NNPG), which comprises of at least seven Naga groups.

The Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN-IM, which is holding peace talks with the government for over two decades, has said it attaches great importance to the Naga flag and constitution as part of the solution.

However, the government is not willing to accept the demands likely due to the abrogation of Article 370 which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. With the annulment of the special status in 2019, the separate flag and the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir cease to exist.

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