Isak-Muivah faction of NSCN and Naga National Political Groups have been pursuing peace process separately
The Core Committee on Naga Political Issue led by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and comprising all the MLAs in the State expects to bring two rival groups on the same talks table.
The committee members had a meeting with leaders of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or the NSCN (I-M), at the Chümoukedima Police Complex near Dimapur on Wednesday. The NSCN (I-M) delegation was led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah.
On Tuesday, the committee members met the leaders of the Working Committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs). The meetings were organised with the objective of bringing the two groups together for “one agreement, one solution’.
The NSCN (I-M), which declared ceasefire with the Indian armed forces in 1997, signed the Framework Agreement with the Centre in February 2015. The NNPGs, comprising at least seven other extremist groups that declared truce since 2001, signed the Agreed Position in November 2017.
The committee’s co-convenor and leader of the Opposition, T.R. Zeliang said the meeting with both the groups was smooth and each understood the other’s position.
“We expect the two Naga negotiating groups to sit across the table along with the facilitators [MLAs] to arrive at a consensus for a lasting solution,” he said, adding that the committee also requested the NSCN (I-M) to resume talks with the Centre.
Mr. Zeliang also said resolving the Naga political issue, hanging fire for more than 23 years, was the primary reason why his party, the Naga People’s Front, decided to join the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government.
Mr. Rio’s Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party heads the alliance where the BJP and two Independents are constituents.
Senior NSCN (I-M) leader Rh Raising told a regional TV channel that the focus of the meeting was on need to arrive at a solution as soon as possible. But a separate flag and constitution continued to remain issues of contention, he said.
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