As BJP, Congress spar over Naga accord, political stalemate continues in Nagaland

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Kohima, Feb 5: This election season, it is all about Naga peace accord in the hill state of Nagaland. The Assembly elections in Nagaland are slated on February 27. Other two northeastern states--Meghalaya and Tripura too are going to vote for new assemblies in their states on February 27 and February 18 respectively.

After the recent election boycott declaration by all the 11 major political parties in the state (including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress), political uncertainty continues in the state.

modi rahul

However, later the state unit of the saffron party decided to take part in the polls following instructions from the party's "high command" in Delhi. Soon, the Congress and the Naga People's Front (NPF) too indicated that they too would be a part of the polls, thus making the entire boycott of elections a flop show.

The decision to boycott the elections was based on the popular sentiment that the Centre should first resolve the seven-decade long Naga political problem before conducting elections for the 13th state legislative assembly.

In fact, the BJP has announced that it would contest the upcoming Nagaland state elections with the newly-formed Nationalist Democratic People's Party (NDPP).

On Sunday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the proposed Naga peace accord--a draft peace deal signed between the centre and an armed rebel group- for stability and peace in the region.

"August 2015, Mr Modi claims to create history by signing the NAGA accord. Feb 2018, Naga Accord is still nowhere to be found. Modi ji is the first ever Indian PM whose words don't mean anything. #CantFindTheAccord," Rahul tweeted.

In August 2015, the Narendra Modi government signed an accord with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland, after nearly two decades of peace talks to end the insurgency.

Under the broad framework of the peace settlement, the Naga leadership has given up its demand for integration of the Naga inhabited areas under one administration, and has accepted the primacy of the Indian Constitution.

After Rahul's jibe over the Naga accord, the BJP has hit back at the Congress for failing to resolve the Nagaland political dispute during its decades-long regime at the Centre.

"He is conveniently forgetting that the party that ruled for at least 50 years in India. It is their doing and baggage. In fact, the improvement in the security situation in the Northeast now was never so in the last 50-60 years. Why wasn't it? That is a question the Congress needs to answer," MoS Jeetendra Singh told ANI.

"If there was unrest in the region before, there might have been political greed behind. They have to answer this question instead of commenting on our three years of work," he added.

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi termed Rahul's jibe a failed attempt to turn the tide in the upcoming assembly election in Nagaland.

"The Congress is losing in Nagaland and it is very, very apparent from the tweet which Gandhi has coined," Lekhi said.

Lekhi also said the Congress is on ground zero in Nagaland and is merely seeking attention in a state in which it is almost wiped out.

Nagaland Assembly
Party 2013 Current Standing  
NPF 38 45 Election Date : Feb 27 2018
Counting : Mar 03 2018
IND 08 08
CONG 08 00
NCP 04 01
BJP 01 04
JDU 01 01
OTHERS 00 00
Total 60 59 (1 Vacant)

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