Naga Peoples’ Front: Renewed Attempt to Address Naga Political Problem Ahead of Elections
A delegation from the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) is currently in New Delhi to hold talks with the center of Naga political talks, AK Mishra.
In 2018, the BJP and its ally fought polls on the issue of “election for a solution” as several groups called for boycotting the election on the grounds of “no solution, no election”.
There is a standoff between the center and the NSCN-IM over the contentious issue of the separate flag and constitution. The NSCN-IM demanded a separate flag and constitution which the center had rejected. The state will go to the polls early next year.
On September 15, BJP National Chairman JP Nadda said the Naga Peace Accord was signed in 2015 and Deputy Chief Minister Patton and Higher Education Minister Temjen Imna Along Longkumer were trying to solve some problems.
Nadda, who was addressing a rally at Old Riphyim in Wokha district, said, “As we did in Tripura in 2019, Bodo in 2020 and KarbiAnglong in 2022, we will make the peace process of Naga”.
NSCN-IM and the Indian government signed a framework agreement in 2015.
Recently, the National Naga Political Groups Working Committee (NNPG) denounced the seat-sharing formula of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) for next year’s elections.
NNPGs is a conglomeration of several groups addressing the Indian government on naga political issues. Facilitated by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), NSCN-IM leaders and the National Naga Political Groups Working Committee (NNPG) met on 14 September.
NNPG and NSCN-IM have not been on the same page on political solutions to decades-old naga political problems and have engaged in a bitter war of words.
Nagaland Federation Gaon Buras (Village Chief) in a letter to BJP Chairman JP Nadda said that the elections should only be held for the legally constituted legislature of Nagaland as per the agreement reached.
The body said the 2018 Nagaland Assembly elections could go ahead without any hurdles following the assurance on “election for solution” given by BJP in charge of Nagaland Ram Madhav. The term of the current Assembly would end in March 2023. We hope that the commitment made by the BJP will be honored without fail.
The Center asked the Nagaland delegation to convince the NSCN-IM to resolve the major issues that are holding back the Naga peace process. A team of 11 panel members, including Chief Minister N Rio, recently met with Union Home Secretary Amit Shah to push for a settlement of the decades-old issue.
Rio had tweeted “I have met Hon. @HMOIndia Shri @AmitShah with the Parliamentary Central Committee to discuss the Naga political issue. Once again we have urged the Government of India to expedite the protracted negotiations on the issue and to find a quick and honorable solution.”
“We want the solution before the elections. Our wish has been conveyed to the Government of India and we are grateful to our Union Home Minister for giving us time to express our opinion,” said Neiba Kronu, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
The Center’s then interlocutor for the Naga political talks, RN Ravi, told the state assembly in February 2021 that the formal talks ended on October 31, 2019. However, the NSCN (IM ) denied this and insists that the Naga flag and Yehzabo are inalienable to “the unique history of the Naga”.
The NSCN-IM recently stated that its national assembly has resolved that the NSCN attaches great importance to the national flag and the Naga (Yehzabo) constitution as part of the Naga political solution and cannot in any way waive these fundamental issues. which symbolized the naga national identity.
Sources said: “The Indian government was ready to allow the flag in socio-cultural activities. The Chief Minister has, however, requested, in a bid to break the deadlock, to allow the flag for civilian use.
The BJP and NDPP had finalized the seat-sharing deal to stand for election to Nagaland’s 60-member assembly early next year.
The NDPP will compete for 40 seats and the BJP for 20 seats in next year’s Assembly polls. The NDPP-BJP Alliance in Nagaland was formed in 2018. In 2018, the NDPP competed in 40 seats and the BJP competed in 20 seats.
Recently, 21 MPs from the Naga People’s Front (NPF) joined the NDPP and the party ended up with only four MPs.
The NPF is in alliance with the NDPP and together with the BJP leads an unopposed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) government in the state. Last year, Nagaland became unopposed with the entry of the NPF into government.