Saturday, December 10, 2022

Demand for PR, asking MLAsto resign illogical: T.R. Zeliang

Staff Reporter

UDA chairman TR Zeliang maintained that every Naga leader has played a role, made sacrifices and allowed the fruit of sacrifices reach every Naga citizen and household. Therefore, the demand for President’s Rule in Nagaland and appeal to MLAs to resign for early solution was illogical at this crucial juncture, he said while addressing media at Sky Garden, 7th Mile Chümoukedima Monday.
Zeliang clarified that no politician claimed credit or expected any personal gain for the little contributions they had made towards the Naga political issue. He pointed out that if any peace accord was inked when Neiphiu Rio was the chief minister, it will not be Rio who would be benefitted but the Nagas as a whole.
Zeliang asserted that presently, all Naga negotiating groups had come together including all the 60 MLAs, for the sake of Naga solution.
Therefore, why not everyone join hands and support the negotiating groups to arrive at a logical conclusion at the earliest, instead of pointing fingers at each other with political vendetta for personal vested interest?, he asked. Zeliang claimed that talks between Government of India (GoI) and NSCN(I-M) were progressing well and that a solution can be expected sooner than later. He expressed the hope that the government of India would bring out a common draft which could be shared with Naga leaders before inking so as to determine whether or not it was acceptable.
Zeliang acknowledged that by any standard, negotiations had stretched long enough and stressed for a logical conclusion. He also called for amicable resolution of principal issues being deliberated upon which were yet to reach an early conclusion.
He said the Core Committee was informed that some competency points were transitional towards a final settlement. “With such solution formulation process, we can keep moving forward to reach the final agreement as stated by the Prime Minister,” he added. Zeliang said he strongly felt that this was the finest opportunity for both the parties – Centre and the Nagas– to finally resolve the protracted Naga political issue since no Prime Minister or Union Home Minister for decades, had ever come forward with such a positive attitude to solve the issue.
He however cautioned that if Nagas missed the opportunity, then it was doubtful if Nagas will be able to maintain the momentum again in the coming years. He also expressed doubts if ever any Indian leader will revisit the chapter with such vigour and concern to solve the Naga political issue.
He also stated that “positive developments” had also taken place within the Naga Political Groups, when both the WC, NNPGs and the NSCN (I-M) had on September 14, 2022 signed the ‘September Joint Accordant’ facilitated by Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) and on October 18 the groups reaffirmed their decision at Kolkata.
Zeliang further remarked that as chairman of the UDA, he wanted clearly tell the Nagas that “Naga Solution is more important than any individual interests regardless of who is in the Chair.”
Denies allegation by SCAN: The UDA chairman also denied allegation by Senior Citizens’ Association Nagaland (SCAN) that he had ever openly stated that he would provide 100 acres of Ntangki National Park to NSCN (I-M) for rehabilitation which he said was nothing more than a blatant lie.
Following news doing the rounds in 2019-20 that Ntangki National Park would be used for rehabilitation of NSCN (I-M) cadres post solution, Zeliang said he raised the matter during a consultative meeting with the collective leadership of the group out of concern for the national property.
He said the leadership clarified that there was no such mention of the national park in the negotiations and that such a proposal was never put up to government of India.
Later Zeliang said when he Centre’s Representative AK Mishra and raised the issue, he was told that there was no such demand for rehabilitation of cadres inside Ntangki National Park and was also assured that even if such a demand was put forward, the government of India would never agree to it.
Zeliang said after getting to learn of the matter from both sides, he clarified to WC, NNPGs at a meeting held in the conference hall of Nagaland House in Delhi that it was just a wild rumour which no one should believe.
Zeliang also said his opinion at the meeting was that post solution, if such a requirement for land arose for establishment of Pan Naga headquarter and if there was no offer from other districts, then this could be established in Asalu region in tri-junction of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland and where the first Naga headquarter was located, in consultation with landowners and Zeliangrong tribal leaders.
Zeliang therefore said he did not understand how or who circulated the wrong information and how the SCAN spokesperson could boldly state that he had ever offered to give land to NSCN (I-M).
“This statement by them is done with malafide intention to tarnish my image for political reasons. Also, how can anyone believe that TR Zeliang will part 100 acres of land for any group in Ntangki National Park or elsewhere? This is just a ridiculous assumption to misguide and misinform the common people,” he maintained.

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