Tuesday, January 31, 2023

NGBF calls for PR and postponing of polls


Nagaland Gaon Burah Federation (NGBF) has called for postponing the State Assembly election and favoured imposition of President’s Rule in the State to ensure an acceptable and honourable solution to the Naga political issue.
NGBF in a statement mentioned that it was convinced that although elections were a necessity in a democratic world, it was not advisable at this hour in Nagaland.
“Let elections be postponed in favour of President’s Rule to ensure honorable and acceptable solution is achieved,” the federation stated.
Conveying people’s will, the federation also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take a call on the Naga issue, claiming that it had felt the pulse of the people at the grassroots ever since the announcement of conclusion of talks with all entities by Centre’s former Interlocutor RN Ravi on October 31, 2019.
“Time for hon’ble Prime Minister to fulfil his assurance on Naga issue,” NGBF stated.
NGBF further declared that it was duty bound to extend solidarity to the people should they go ahead and refrain from participating in the democratic process, if the political leadership at the Centre focused solely on election and not on Indo-Naga political solution. It cautioned of being compelled to take a decision whether to participate or boycott the forthcoming election.
The federation said it was aware that the Central government and NSCN (I-M) had declared successful conclusion of political talks on August 3, 2015. The folly was ignoring major stakeholders in the peace process, it added.
Thereafter, to pursue an inclusive solution, it pointed out that the Centre had officially invited Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups (WC, NNPGs) comprising of seven different Naga armed groups to the negotiating table on September 27, 2017, before officially concluding negotiations with all entities on October 31, 2019.
NGBF stated that it understood the intricacies of the Indian system, so also among the two negotiating Naga entities, besides the position of the Centre on symbolic matters.
It asserted that the clearest stand and position of Nagaland tribes, relevant Naga civil society organisations and common people was that the Prime Minister must announce the settlement based on what was negotiated and agreed upon, once and for all.
The federation insisted that the slogan “Election for Solution” should never be used twice and warned that any delay would hurt the sentiment of the people of Nagaland.
“Threats and intimidations by anti-solution elements cannot subdue the overwhelming demand for an honourable solution. Naga people in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam too have openly expressed their desire for an acceptable political settlement,” the statement read.
NGBF also said it understood the genuine grievances of Eastern Naga People’s Organisation (ENPO) and alleged that the delay by the Centre in announcing Naga settlement was related to sensitive political and administrative discrepancies in the region over the years. Hence, it claimed that resolving the Naga political issue and post solution realignments of flawed political and administrative status would fulfil the aspiration of Eastern Nagaland tribes.
The federation pointed out that boycotting and abstaining from electoral process either by Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) or Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) would seriously dent the image of the world’s largest democratic nation and its political leadership. However, since the matter was about a political struggle that was more than eight decades old, it pointed out that the people had the right to express themselves, in the knowledge that negotiations had already concluded.
Meanwhile, NGBF said it was keenly awaiting the proposed visits of Shah and Modi to the State on January 6 and 10 respectively.
The federation recalled that its members– as village elders, headmen, guardians and custodians of pre-British Naga customary heritage and usages – had met the Prime Minister at his office in New Delhi in 2017 and urged him to pursue an inclusive path and expedite the solution to the Indo-Naga political issue.

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