The Centre is keen on resolving the Naga political issue and has invited the NSCN(IM) to New Delhi to continue the dialogue, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said on Monday. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an official programme here, Rio said Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked him and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to assist, and make the Naga groups come to an understanding for a solution.
On September 21, Sarma and Rio had jointly met NSCN(IM) chief negotiator Th Muivah at Dimapur, a day after the Centre’s new interlocutor AK Mishra held deliberations with him.
The chief minister revealed that during their meeting with Muivah, it was conveyed that the Centre was very keen on a solution so that peace and development can be accelerated in Nagaland.
“We are also having consultations with the Government of India and sharing the mind of the Centre with the negotiating parties,” he said. Rio expressed happiness that the Centre and the Naga groups have resumed negotiations to find a solution to the vexed Naga political problem.
“The negotiations had been stalled because of differences in opinions on some issues for about two years, but after a long time both the Centre and NSCN(IM) have agreed to resume the talks with the new interlocutor, Mishra,” he said.
Maintaining that there would be only one interlocutor from the Centre to talk to all the Naga groups, Rio said Mishra has come to Dimapur recently and held initial discussions with NSCN(IM) and the Working Committee of seven Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).
The Centre has been holding negotiations with NSCN(IM) since 1997 and inked the Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015 while parallel dialogue commenced with NNPGs in 2017 with signing of the Agreed Position the same year.
There has been no progress in the talks since October 31, 2019, following the announcement of the completion of negotiations with all the Naga groups by then interlocutor RN Ravi.
On the likely reshuffle of his cabinet, following the formation of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) of Nagaland — also comprising the opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF), Rio said “it is in discussion”. “We are not in a hurry as we have come together on Naga political issue… Let the resumption of the talks and things get in order after which we will think about the opposition-less government,” he said.