NSCN (IM) opposes holding polls in Nagaland before 'solution'
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) Tuesday evening came out openly against holding Assembly elections in Nagaland due February 27.
The insurgent outfit, which is negotiating a final settlement of the Naga issue, has acknowledged the many voices calling for “solution not election”. Apparently, the outfit is not on board for the polls.
“The decision taken by the GoI / Election Commission of India to hold election is bound to undermine the progress of the ongoing talks between the NSCN and the GoI and become a serious obstacle towards finding an early political solution,” a press release from NSCN (IM)’s ministry of information and publicity, said on Tuesday.
The Naga rebel group’s firm stand is backed by non-government organisations and civil society organisations, including Naga Hoho, and even anti-corruption platform ACAUT. These and many more have said they want “solution before election”.
NSCN (IM) has stopped short of using the word “boycott” of the polls, but has minced no words in criticism. “Imposition of such election is not acceptable to the Naga people who are for an early negotiated political settlement,” the NSCN (IM) has asserted.
But it has not stopped at that. It has trained its guns on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) itself, with which it has had an amiable relationship over the past two years after signing of the framework agreement in August 2015.
“We need a government that will be helpful in concluding the Naga agreement, which we want to conclude with all seriousness,” BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said in Dimapur on Monday. The NSCN (IM) has not accepted this election promise for a settlement post-election.
“Therefore, those who advocate for the imposed election does not stand for the interest of the Naga people. We are seriously critical with such people or group as they do not contribute towards finding lasting political solution,” said the NSCN statement. It appears the BJP’s promise for facilitating a solution is seen by the NSCN as another jumla.
The NSCN said it has issued a statement in “(Naga) national interest” to inform the Naga people in general on the issue of election in Nagaland. The outfit said it is committed for an early negotiated political settlement that is honorable to both India and the Nagas.
Earlier in the statement it said the Nagas have sincerely come very close for political solution, appreciating the steps taken by the Centre in seeking political solution and leaving aside military solution. However, it made it clear that NSCN “sincerely appreciates” the stand and wish of the Naga people for an early political solution and no election.
"We, therefore, reiterate our position for an early political solution that will usher in peace in the whole subcontinent and the GoI must exercise political will to take steps accordingly.
Kuknalim," the NSCN statement concluded with the word for "victory to our land". Ironically – and Nagas do not forget easily – Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also concluded his speech in Kohima with "Kuknalim".