Joint Legislature Forum meets Sushma Swaraj

A 20-member Joint Legislature Forum (JLF) of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly today met Opposition leader of the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj of the BJP to impress upon her  for an early settlement for the ongoing negotiations between the government of India with the NSCN (I-M).

According to JLF sources, the BJP leader was positive about solution and also forthcoming with her views wherein she said the ruling UPA coalition government need to also take the opposition into confidence on the issue.

Ms.Sushma Swaraj, wife of former Governor of Mizoram and the first Interlocutor, Swaraj Kaushal, gave the impression that she was quite conversant with the Naga issue,source said.

The BJP leader also suggested that the JLF also keep in touch with the Nagaland BJP unit by keeping the latter informed of the developments.

A JLF delegation comprising of chief minister Neiphiu Rio, home minister Imkong L.Imchen and NPCC president S.I.Jamir MLA along with some members are scheduled to meet L.K.Advani on Wednesday to seek support for an early solution.

The JLF sources also told Nagaland Post that the response of the government of Manipur headed by Congress chief minister Ibobi Singh, would be crucial before the Centre inks any agreement in view of the fact that it involved the Naga inhabited districts of Senapati, Tamenglong, Ukhrul and Chandel.

It may also be recalled that the Nagas in Manipur have been demanding ‘an Alternative Arrangement’ outside Manipur’s constitutional authority.

Even before the Ibobi government initiated any effort towards a consultation process, various valley-based organizations have raised heckles against territorial division of the state.

Meanwhile,Government of India’s Interlocutor for Naga peace talks, R.S. Pandey Tuesday said the peace process with NSCN (I-M) was in the right direction.

“The peace process is on the right direction and I have held several meetings with them, but at the moment things are yet to concretize,” Pandey said over a phone after a meeting with the Joint Legislators Forum (JLF) led by Nagaland Assembly Speaker Kiyanielie Peseyie.

“They (JLF) have also come and met this morning to assess progress of peace talks and we have shared our ideas during our discussions,” Pandey informed.

Asked whether the peace talks have reached a final phase of deliberations with Nagaland getting a separate flags on the lines of the red flag of Jammu and Kashmir and the Naga Assembly would be renamed as Tatar Hoho (Parliament), Pandey said, “It is not good to talk anything on it now. Anyone can speculate, but I am telling you things are yet to concretize.”

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, Home Minister Imkong Imchen, leader of opposition Congress Legislature Party leader Tokheho Yepthomi and members of Parliament Khekiho Zhimomi and CM Chang were among the 20 JLF members who also met NSCN (I-M) leaders Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah. NPN

JLF team meets Isak-Muivah

At a meeting with NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Th. Muivah, the two told JLF members that they were trying their best to seek an early settlement. They further told the JLF that if any solution/agreement is arrived at, it should be incorporated in the constitution of India.

Meanwhile, reacting to certain media reports that Centre “has secured a written commitment from the NSCN (I-M) that it would accept the Indian constitution”, the collective leadership denied having given any such commitment.

The JLF team would be meeting opposition leader in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and other Central leaders Tuesday including Centre’s interlocutor R.S Pandey.

The 20-member JLF team led by NLA speaker Kiyanielie Peseyie include chief minister Neiphiu Rio, CLP leader Tokheho Yepthomi, NPF president and minister Dr Shurhozelie, NPCC president and MLA S. I. Jamir, Ministers — Imkong L Imchen, T. R. Zeliang, M. C. Konyak, Dr. Chumben Murry, Kuzholuzo Nienu, Kaito Aye, P. Longon and MLAs Chingwang Konyak, I. Imkong, H. Chuba, Joshua Sumi, K. V. Pusa, Hewoto and MPs Khekiho Zhimomi and CM Chang.

It may be mentioned that, chief minister Neiphiu Rio prior to the JLF delegation’s departure to New Delhi told reporters at Dimapur Airport that it could be the last effort by the JLF to try and convince the central government for an early settlement.

“We want to know from the government of India on the progress and status of the peace process,” he said.
Staff Reporter adds: NSCN (I-M) kilo kilonser T.T. Among has denied the report that the group had made written commitment to government of India accepting the Indian constitution.

Among maintained that no agreement was made by NSCN (I-M). Pointing out that if any agreement was arrived at it would be made known to the public, T.T. Among said the talk was unconditional and hence if any commitment of accepting the Indian constitution then that made it conditional, which he said would not be accepted by NSCN (I-M).

Also, asserting that the talk was proposed to be held in the third country, he said only because India officially requested the NSCN (I-M) to have talk in India, NSCN (I-M) was holding it in India.
Report is media speculation: Imchen

Meanwhile, Nagaland home minister Imkong L Imchen, while talking to Nagaland Post, flatly denied reports, which stated that NSCN (I-M) has made a written commitment to government of India.

Claiming that the report was a “media speculation”, Imkong said neither NSCN (I-M) nor government of India made such statement and that both have vehemently denied it.

Reiterating that JLF was only a felicitator and that it would also not make such statement, Imkong said the team was not in Delhi to put any proposal as far as Naga issue was concerned.

Asked about the meeting with union home minister in the afternoon, Imkong said JLF had impressed upon home minister to conduct political talk and bring solution before general election. Stating that Shinde was “very positive”, Imkong said Shinde was also “exploring wisdom” as to how solution could be brought about at the earliest.

Further, Imkong said Shinde was “very much committed and sincere” and that JLF was pleased. He said JLF was expected to meet the opposition leader, Tuesday, 11 a.m. NPN

Joint Legislators Forum meets central leaders

Pinning hopes of an early settlement to the protracted Naga political issue, the 20-member Joint Legislators Forum (JLF) team led by NLA speaker Kiyanielie Peseyie that included chief minister Neiphiu Rio met Union Home Minster Sushil Kumar Shinde, Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, NDA chairman Sharad Yadav and NSCN (I-M) collective leadership here Monday.

Speaking to Nagaland Post, a senior legislator and member of the delegation said that the JLF had once again reiterated the demand on the Centre and NSCN (I-M) to expedite a solution at the earliest. Shinde assured the JLF delegation that the Centre would do its best to find an amicable solution before the 2013 polls.

Shinde also told the JLF that he had held a meeting with the chief ministers of Manipur O. Ibobi Singh and Arunachal Pradesh- Nabam Tuki to explore ways to address the Naga issue in their respective states.

The minister also asked the two states to “co-operate” with the Centre over the issue. Shinde also said that a time frame was given to the two chief ministers to respond with feedbacks.

The Union Home Minister’s meeting with Ibobi and Tuki was to seek the cooperation of the two states, considered crucial for the proposed alternative arrangement for Nagas in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

Union agriculture minister and NCP chief (UPA ally) Sharad Pawar also assured the JLF that he would discuss the issue with his colleagues “to see that something is settled before the next assembly elections.”

In a meeting with NDA chairman Sharad Yadav, the legislator said Yadav assured them that he would “go all-out” in support of a solution for the issue. He also suggested the JLF team meet other opposition leaders to press for their demand. -NPN