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Nagaland CM Liezietsu asks factions to come together

IANS | Kohima |

Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu on Wednesday asked the various warring factions of Naga rebel groups to come together to bring about a permanent settlement to the six-decade-old separatist Naga movement.

"It is unfortunate that Nagas are fragmented into several groups and all are asking for sovereignty for the Naga people. But can we expect all of them to bring different sovereignty to the Naga people?" Shurhozelie was addressing the Kohima Division Naga People's Font Leaders' Convention at Indira Gandhi Stadium in the capital city.

"Whether they (Naga groups) like it or not, it is time we speak out the truth. We must tell the different Naga political groups to come together and that all of them must be included to bring about a permanent settlement. We want inclusiveness," Shurhozelie said.

Shurhozelie, who is also the Nagaland People's Front (NPF) supremo, reiterated his party's support to the Framework Agreement arrived at between the central government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah)– NSCN-IM — on August 3, 2015.

"We support the Framework Agreement signed between the central government and the NSCN-IM. But this does not mean we support the NSCN-IM alone. We have made it clear to the Indian government and the NSCN-IM that to bring about a final and acceptable solution to the Naga political problem, all Naga political groups and sections of the people must be included in the process," the chief minister said.

Recalling how the 16-point agreement was arrived at between the Indian government and the negotiating party (Naga People's Convention) to end violence and bloodshed in the land, Shurhozelie said the agreement could not meet its goal since the representatives of the Naga group were not part of the agreement.

"We do not consider statehood as the final agreement between the Nagas and the central government and we expect a final solution which is inclusive of all Naga political groups and sections of the Naga people," he said.

On the political development where former member of Parliament Chingwang Konyak is expected to announce formation of a political party in the next few days, Shurhozelie said in a democratic set-up, there can be not only one but several political parties, and asked the people not to be alarmed or swayed away by this new turn of events.

"As I see it, at present there is no alternative to the NPF in Nagaland. The days of the Congress party are over throughout India in the next ten years or more," the chief minister said.