Traditional tribal bodies representing 15 tribes of Nagaland have appealed to the Centre to “seriously and sincerely” resolve the “Indo-Naga” peace process before the Assembly elections in the State without further delay.
The tribal bodies are called ‘hohos’ and elections to the 60-member Nagaland Assembly are expected by February. The 15 tribal bodies said a solution to the Naga political issue has been long overdue since 1997, when the extremist Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland declared truce with the Indian armed forces.
In a statement, these bodies told the Narendra Modi government at the Centre that the Naga people were unlikely to be “hoodwinked” again with “sugar-coated slogans”, as was the case ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls.
Nagaland BJP chief accused of hampering peace process
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which went on to win an unprecedented 12 seats in the State that year, had campaigned with the “election for solution” credo when the people wanted “solution, not election”.
“The BJP swayed the simple Nagas then, betraying their trust,” the tribal bodies said in the statement. “Therefore, the Centre should seriously look into this very matter without further delay and bring about a ‘solution before election’ if it is serious and diligent enough to solve this protracted issue,” the statement read.
Some organisations in Nagaland have threatened to boycott the upcoming Assembly elections if the final solution to the Naga political issue is not arrive at.
Although the Centre signed two pacts – the Framework Agreement with the NSCN (I-M) in August 2015 and the Agreed Position with the Naga National Political Groups in November 2017 – a solution to the vexed issue has been elusive owing to differences over a separate Naga flag and Naga constitution.