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Pillai, Pandey in shortlist

Kohima, June 28: Former home secretary G.K. Pillai and former Nagaland chief secretary R.S. Pandey are said to be in the running for Nagaland governorís post after the resignation of Ashwani Kumar.

A source said the Centre had short-listed Pillai and Pandey for the post of Nagaland governor. Both the retired officials were involved in the ongoing dialogue with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah).

Sources said Pillai was the probable candidate as he had been dealing with the issue for quite sometime. Though Pandey was an interlocutor in the peace talks with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) for the past few years, he was not as well versed with the issue as Pillai.

Recently, Pillai came on a private visit to the state and met some officials of the Nagaland government and NGOs. During his tenure as the joint secretary (Northeast) in the Union home ministry, he had toured every nook and corner of the state and met people.

The talks between the Centre and the outfit stalled after Pandey quit the post of interlocutor and joined the BJP before the Lok Sabha polls this year, claiming there was little progress in the Naga peace process. Top NSCN leaders are camping in New Delhi for further consultation with central leaders to facilitate the peace process. They are also expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.

The NSCN (I-M) has confirmed that the Centre may soon table its proposal for settlement of the protracted Naga political issue.

Pillai had even suggested shared sovereignty as a solution to the issue. The neighbouring states have strongly opposed the integration of contiguous Naga areas, which is the main demand of the NSCN (I-M). Pillai also supports repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the region, a demand which has been raised by individuals and organisations.


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