Monday, February 6, 2023

Naga political solution, statehood demand and Assembly election

Spl. Correspondent

Years of assurance that Naga solution will be secured before Christmas or New year; had raised hope among Naga people that their prayer was going to be answered but every year such expectancy eventually turns into despondency when that hope proved to be a mirage. This year, Nagaland prepares for holding assembly election by end of February or first week of March 2023 but again the spectre of likely solution appears to linger over head.
Sources told Nagaland Post that the Union Home ministry is seized of the matter and is also eager to push for the final inking of the agreement to secure a final solution. The sources said the issue of holding polls is not a hurdle since elections can be deferred for a few months when the draft for solution is on the table. Asked about the likely period for the expected solution, the sources said it could be anytime in 2023 but certainly well ahead of the Lok Sabha election in 2024.
Delay in securing solution to the Naga political issue has caused huge negative impact on the state polity which has been reflected in poor governance over the years as legislators have been unduly focussing too much on Naga political issue without having any official role.
It is learnt that the issue of demand for creation of ‘Frontier Nagaland’ through bifurcation of present Nagaland state is being handled by the Home ministry. Whether the Nagaland government has passed any resolution in forwarding the matter to the ministry of home affairs, is not known. Thus the home ministry is grappling with the twin issues of the cry for political solution on one hand and ENPO demand for statehood even as it is trying to focus on holding assembly election as per schedule by 2023.
The union home minister Amit Shah is likely to visit eastern Nagaland sometime in January 2023 and is expected to make some announcement over the ENPO demand as well as election vis-à-vis Naga solution. Before his visit, the Amit Shah is to be briefed by the three-member central committee headed by A.K. Mishra. The panel has been tasked to meet a cross section of society in eastern Nagaland as well as state chief minister Neiphiu Rio and members of the legislature on the issue of ENPO demand.
Ruling party sources disclosed to Nagaland Post that chief minister of Nagaland Rio was at best “ambivalent” about the statehood demand while another went on to add, that he (the CM) had even assured leaders from eastern Nagaland of forwarding their representation/memorandum to the Centre.
Interestingly, the demand for statehood being a matter of utmost public importance should have been discussed on the floor of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly but unfortunately, it has not been done.
A senior politician said that the people in Nagaland are perplexed by these developments since the deliberations and the outcomes have largely remained exclusive. The source also said that the pleas for ‘unity’ among Nagas has been contradicted when ‘integration’ practically became ‘disintegration’ as judged from what has been happening.

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