Kohima, Dec. 10: All the 60 Naga legislators will resign from the Joint Legislators’ Forum only if a solution is hammered out between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M).
This was decided at a meeting of the Forum held today at Chumukedima town, 65km from here.
The closed-door meeting of 60 Naga lawmakers has come at a time when there was mistrust among the Naga legislators in the ongoing Naga peace talks between the Centre and the NSCN led by Isak Chishi Swu and Thiunagleng Muivah.
Cutting across party lines, all 60 Naga legislators had come together to form the Forum in an effort to facilitate the Naga peace process and assuring to pave the way for any solution, which would be acceptable and honourable to all sections of people. But there is still mistrust between the Opposition Congress and the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the Congress felt that the ruling party might take advantage of the Forum to come back to power in the next elections.
The ruling party had tried to persuade the Opposition members to wait, who were willing to resign even before the solution is arrived at between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M).
The 18 Congress members supported by one Independent MLA said they were ready to resign even before the agreement is signed between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M).
Nagaland will go to polls by March and the Centre was trying to resolve the Indo-Naga political problem, which was more than 60 years old, before the elections.
The ruling NPF said its members would resign only after the agreement is signed but the Opposition Congress said they were ready to resign even before that and asked the former to spell out their exact stand on political issue.
The NPF doubted the credibility and stand of the Congress members in the Forum as the resignation of all 60 members before the full tenure of the Assembly would invite President’s rule in the state. The party said it would not resign even if the Opposition members resigned as they have a comfortable number to run the government.
Chief minister Neiphiu Rio urged Naga legislators not to create any situation where imposition of President’s rule is even considered.
Rio said imposition of President’s rule is unhealthy for democracy, especially in India, which is the world’s largest democratic nation. “It is a suppression of people’s mandate and disrespect for the voice of the masses,” he added.