Kohima, Nov. 21: The ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) is apprehensive of President’s rule in the state again but the Opposition Congress has said it saw no reason why its legislators should resign from the Assembly.
In the 60-member house, the Congress has 18 members supported by one Independent MLA, while NPF has 35 and supported by six Independents. Nagaland will go to poll by February next year.
The Joint Legislators’ Forum (JLF), which consists of all the 60 MLAs, was formed to facilitate the ongoing peace process between the Centre and the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) and other outfits and had decided to resign from the Assembly if an honourable and acceptable solution could not be reached with the Centre.
The Opposition Congress has asked the NPF to spell out its stand on the Naga political issue, but the NPF said it would not resign before any solution is hammered out and has termed the Congress’s demand as unreasonable and unacceptable. The NPF has said if 18 Congress legislators and one Independent MLA resign from the Assembly, the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) will still have 41 members to run the government. “We are comfortable to run the government even if the Congress MLAs resign from the Assembly,” an NPF source said.
PCC chief Imtisungit Jam-ir also ruled out resignation in the immediate future. He agreed with the NPF that even if they resign, the NPF would still have enough members to run the government. But he said the Congress lawmakers would meet tomorrow on their future course of action.
Chief minister Neiphiu Rio has personally written to the PCC president explaining the position of his government and urged the Opposition not to pursue President’s rule in the state.
“You are aware that over the past decades, President’s rule has been imposed on the Naga people on several occasions citing various reasons. The memories of the sufferings that the people of Nagaland have undergone during these dark periods, when popular governments were not allowed to rule, are still fresh in the minds of the people. Appreciating these facts of history, responsible elected members should not create any situation where imposition of President’s rule is even considered,” the letter stated.
Top Congress leaders ruled out pulling out of the Forum in the immediate future but said a clear picture would emerge only after tomorrow’s meeting in Dimapur.
“The DAN appreciates the participation of the Congress members in the Forum and a united forum under the leadership of the Speaker has made significant contributions towards the peace process. We solicit and seek your continued support as we stand committed and will continue to leave no stone unturned in our endeavour to realise an honourable, acceptable political solution that may come about from the ongoing negotiations,” Rio said.