Shillong, Feb. 24: AICC general secretary Margaret Alva today ruled out any change in the party’s manifesto for Nagaland as far as the integration of Naga-inhabited areas was concerned.
“There is no question of change in the manifesto. The 16-point agreement adopted several years ago suggests the need for an integration of all Naga-inhabited areas,” she said.
The Congress in Nagaland through its manifesto reiterated that it would continue its demand for the implementation of the 16-point agreement of 1960 in letter and spirit.
The agreement had led to the formation of the state of Nagaland.
The agreement highlights the need to have the integration of the contiguous Naga areas of the region.
However, this had evoked criticism from various quarters, including the neighbouring state of Manipur. Commenting on the reaction from the neighbouring state, Alva said Nagaland has been negotiating with its neighbour on the issue.
“We will see to it that our demands are placed before the negotiation committee of both the militant leaders and the Centre,” Alva said.
She said the integration issue would be kept in the form of an agenda to be negotiated and settled, she added.
On the Nagaland Congress’s stand on the issue, Alva said, “We cannot control the freedom and wisdom of the state leadership. The state leaders are expressing their own aspirations and we need to respect this.”
On the peace talks with the Naga militants, the AICC leader iterated that any solution should be within the framework of the Constitution.
“We are the sons and daughters of the motherland and we should continue to remain with her,” Alva said.