New Delhi: Amid pressure mounting for an early inking of a final solution pact with Naga ultras, a senior BJP leader has sought to call for a soul search by Nagas themselves and posed the question, “Are we not trying to sabotage things at our levels?”
In an article published in local newspapers, M Chuba Ao, BJP National Vice President, also wanted to know, “How has our elected State Government and elected MLAs behaved? Why so much loot and corruption when the money flow was on? Where is the money going?”
Chuba Ao attended the two-day BJP National Executive meeting convened in New Delhi, and thus his opinion at such a juncture is being seen as critical.
He also said, “The Government of India and the BJP understand how half the mess in Naga society is created by certain political ideologies”. This remark is perhaps in reference to NSCN-IM, which generally has shown a deep liking for the Chinese communists’ influence. Earlier the centre said that the talks were over in October 2019, but demands Flag and Naga Constitution, as demanded by NSCN-IM, had delayed things.
“Let us deliver before things go out of our hands,” the BJP leader emphasised.
Chuba Ao, in his article, has also taken exceptions to the NSCN-IM and others trying to blame the centre for the delay in finalising the peace pact for the solution to the Naga insurgency issue that was kicked off in the 1940s.
“Blame game is not solution. Everyone should understand the problem faced by the Central Government too,” he said, adding, “Who can pursue our Naga leaders and stakeholders in the peace process if the civil society opts for a passive or a rather meaningless indifferent role”.
Notably, the article came within days of the NSCN-IM and the umbrella group NNPG issued a joint statement on January 14 stating that the two sides pledged – “unconditional commitment to collaborate on the basis of our respective agreements (Framework Agreement of 2015 and the Agreed Position of 2017) for the resolution of the Naga historical and political rights with Government of India”.
In fact, this is for the first time the NSCN-IM has shown its approval of the Agreed Position inked between Government of India and NNPG in 2017 when R N Ravi was the Governor of Nagaland.
Chuba also refers to the ‘transfer’ of Ravi as the Governor of Tamil Nadu and says, “At times even unreasonable demands have been entertained (by the centre)”.
“There is a new fashion statement now, and everybody is trying to blame the Government of India. People say New Delhi has not taken things seriously. But the Government of India is waiting for its prodigal son to return home,” he wrote, adding, “But how long the people of Nagaland State will now wait for the Solution”.
Of course, some of the issues raised by Chuba are whispered in Nagaland’s socio-political life due to obvious reasons that a section of State politicians is allegedly maintaining nexus with ultra-groups, especially NSCN-IM.
Elections are due in Nagaland next month along with Meghalaya and Tripura, and State unit president Temjen Imna Along presented his State report at the ongoing BJP National Executive meeting in New Delhi on January 16.
In 2018, the BJP’s poll promise was ‘Election for Solution’; hence, there is pressure on the centre to deliver a final peace pact and solution before the polls. In fact, the Naga civil society has already taken to the streets demanding deferment of Elections if necessary to put the peace process on a faster track.
There was a display of a banner on January 6 near Dimapur airport when Home Minister Amit Shah made a halt for four hours. The Naga peace parleys began in 1997 when I K Gujral was Prime Minister and have continued for the last 26 years now.
Even the Congress party in Nagaland had lately given a significant boost to the peace process when State Unit President K Therie said the Government of India should immediately honour the pact signed with NNPG in 2017.
Chuba himself, a Naga, lamented that “Every time a new agenda is thrust or created (in peace parleys). Sovereignty, integration and now Constitution and a separate Flag” and at the same time, he hastened to add, “Can a Naga himself give up Flag if he is Prime Minister or Home Minister of India?”.
The BJP National vice president cautioned, “If the Modi Government fails to deliver peace and solution to Nagas, it will take a few decades more to come to the crossroads we are in today. It is up to the Naga people to make the year 2023 historic”.