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NPF takes up debate challenge

Kohima, July 8: Naga People’s Front (NPF), the main constituent of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland, has accepted the PCC’s challenge to debate the Naga political issue.

However, NPF secretary general K. G. Kenye said a neutral organisation like the Nagaland Baptist Church Council should moderate and sponsor the debate.

“In view of the often-repeated claims and charges of the Nagaland PCC and the challenge it has thrown for an open debate on the Naga political issue, the NPF working committee has accepted the challenge to set the records straight and clarify misconceptions on the role it has been playing as a facilitator over the decades,” a source in the committee said.

Members of the committee reviewed all the Congress’s allegations levelled against the NPF and the regional legacy it has inherited of Nagaland statehood.

Kenye said the party had discussed the political events and circumstances surrounding the Naga people since the early 50s. The main topic focused on a document written and compiled by NPF president Shurhozelie Liezietsu on the background of the formation of the Naga People’s Convention in the late 50s.

“The original plan and purpose of its formation, the creation of the negotiating body and how it declined to meet the underground and deviated from its actual motive and intention and played into the hands of the bureaucrats who completely miscarried the entire plan and without encompassing the whole Nagas went ahead unilaterally to sign the 16-point agreement with the government of India which has become very contentious today,” Kenye said.

The document threw light on the circumstances leading to the formation of the Democratic Party in Nagaland in October 1963 by A. Kevichusa and his companions with a commitment to realign the volatile situation and work for a final political settlement of the Indo-Naga issue, the heir to which is the NPF.

The Congress had challenged the NPF for debate on the Naga political issue and on the 16-point agreement of 1960 which gave birth to Nagaland. The agreement was signed between the Centre and the NPC without the consent of Naga rebels. The NPF said the 16-point agreement was not a final solution to the Naga political problem and that one should be hammered out at the earliest.

But the Congress had severely criticised the NPF for being critical of the 16-point agreement and had asked NPF lawmakers to resign from the Assembly.

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