Interacting with a section of media persons at NPF central office here on Wednesday, Zeliang said Government of India (GoI)had recognised Naga history as unique because Nagas were scattered in different parts of the State and country and yet had the same culture, tradition and had the same of having a final solution, and this made Naga history unique.
He asserted that Nagas, whether from Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh or Assam, were one, had one vision and one goal, else GoI would not have considered Naga history as unique, if only Nagas talked about Nagas of Nagaland.
Therefore, Zeliang said implementation of RIIN was not appropriate now and that it would take not less than five years to complete.
Instead, Zeliang advised the State government to implement ILP.
Status quo on RIIN: Opposition NPF has urged the PDA government to maintain status quo vis-à-vis the proposed Registration of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) as it would only bring more divisions among Nagas as well as various indigenous communities settled in Nagaland.
In a resolution adopted in this regard at its central executive council (CEC) meeting held at Kohima on Wednesday, the party requested the government to put on hold the RIIN exercise till a consensus was reached with all stakeholders.
Putting on record the “callous attitude” of the PDA government in handling such a sensitive issue like RIIN that concerned the future of Nagas as a whole, the meeting was of the opinion that the government must seriously focus on implementation of ILP rather than inviting more problems in the society through RIIN.
The CEC also supported the decision of NPF Legislature Wing to abstain from the consultative meeting on RIIN convened by the State government at Kohima on July 17. It reiterated Article II Para 2 clause (c) of the party’s constitution that states: “To work for unity and integrity of the people by integrating all contiguous Naga Ancestral areas under one administrative roof and also to provide protection to all the ethnic groups who are indigenous inhabitants of all Naga Ancestral Areas.”
Meanwhile, welcoming the appointment of RN Ravi as the new governor of Nagaland, NPF hoped his appointment will strengthen the ongoing peace process as he was the main driving force behind signing the historic August 3, 2015 Framework Agreement.
In another resolution adopted in this regard, the party urged the Government of India and Naga national workers to expedite the peace talks and bring it to a logical conclusion. It also appealed to all other groups who have not yet joined the peace process to reconsider their decision and join it in order to arrive at an honourable and inclusive solution.
Expressing concern over the manner in which the Government of India was handling Jammu & Kashmir issue, the CEC by a resolution expressed anguish in keeping the political leaders under house arrest that amounted to curtailing of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
Finally, keeping in mind the party’s age-old tradition and convention in evolving a consensus on election of central office bearers (COB), including frontal wings, the CEC resolved to endorse party president to constitute central election board as envisaged in Article IV Para 5 (A) of the party’s constitution. It also endorsed the president to decide the venue and date of the general convention.
The CEC resolution committee comprised spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon as convener and vice-president Kruzakie Kelio, MLA Muthingnyuba Sangtam, former MLA P Longon and general secretary Hotoshe as members.
Rejects report of merger
T.R. Zeliang also rubbished reports of NPF MLAs merging with BJP, stating that there had been no official discussion between the two parties so far.
He said his contention was if BJP was comfortable with NDPP, then it could go ahead. Else, the two parties could work together considering the smooth sail they had between 2003 and 2017.
The NPF-LP leader clarified that BJP had not approach NPF and neither the latter. He said discussion was held at personal level.
Fate of seven NPF rebels gets closer
Meanwhile, fate of the seven NPF rebel MLAs, who had defied the party decision during the last parliamentary election and were subsequently suspended by the party, and for whose disqualification a petition was filed with NLA speaker, will be known by August 13.
And as the day of final decision came closer, Zeliang said NPF would go as per the decision of the NLA speaker. According to Zeliang, though the speaker had given the rebel MLAs six weeks to reply, the latter again sought six more weeks, which would end in September. Mentioning that four months would lapse by August 13, he said if the speaker did not dispose the petition by August 13, then his party might seek redressal from court.