Nagaland BJP chief accused of hampering peace process

A committee of the Naga National Political Groups said the State unit of the party is going against the stand of the BJP’s Central leaders.

Published - January 06, 2023 03:19 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Temjen Imna Along Longkumer. File

Temjen Imna Along Longkumer. File | Photo Credit: Twitter/@AlongImna

An umbrella organisation of seven Naga extremist groups has slammed the Nagaland unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party for trying to scuttle the Naga peace process.

The Working Committee (WC) of the Naga National Political Groups said State BJP president, Temjen Imna Along Longkumer and his coterie were “greatly hampering” the progress and fruition of the ‘Indo-Naga’ political talks.

The WC said the State BJP leaders have been “playing with fire” by going against their Central leadership that is “trying its best to find permanent peace” for Nagaland through a political settlement with various Naga extremist groups.

Mr. Longkumer apparently miffed the WC by not giving its leaders an appointment sought on November 9 to discuss “crucial” matters.

“A man devoid of any principle, an opportunist and morally bankrupt, he is responsible for misleading the Naga people and betraying the BJP leadership in New Delhi,” the WC said in a statement, vowing not to let “such a man” represent the Nagas either in Kohima or in Delhi.

The WC said Mr. Longkumer “has fiddled with Naga political issue and played every dirty trick in the book to thwart the progress of Indo-Naga talks”. It added that the “treacherous” State BJP leadership “has deeply eroded the Naga people’s confidence”. The WC also reminded the State BJP of the fate of Congress in Nagaland.

“In 1998, Congress went against the wishes of the Naga people by going ahead with election instead of solution. They assumed power uncontested. They failed to honour the people’s demand and rather believed they had wiped out all other regional political parties in Nagaland. The Naga people responded by promptly showing them an exit door,” it said.

The Congress, out of power in Nagaland since 2003, has no MLA now. Various political and non-political groups in Nagaland have been demanding a solution to the vexed Naga political issue before elections. The demand has been raised again with the Assembly polls expected by February-end.

The peace process in Nagaland and adjoining States inhabited by the Nagas began in July-August 1997 after the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim declared truce. New Delhi signed the Framework Agreement with the group in August 2015.

Another pact called the Agreed Position was signed with the Naga National Political Groups in 2017. The seven constituents of this conglomerate had entered into ceasefire agreements with the Centre in phases since 2001. The Naga peace process has been in limbo over the Isak-Muivah faction’s insistence on a separate Naga flag and Naga constitution.

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