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Assam, Nagaland CM's hold closed door meetings with NSCN chief

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Kohima, Sep 21: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Nagaland counterpart Neiphiu Rio held closed-door interaction with NSCN(IM) chief negotiator Thuingaleng Muivah at Dimapur on Tuesday, a government official said.

Assam, Nagaland CMs hold closed door meetings with NSCN chief

The interaction, which was held a day after the resumption of talks between the Centre and NSCN(IM) to find a solution to the vexed Naga political issue, was also confirmed by Nagaland minister Neiba Kronu. NSCN(IM) is holding talks with political leaders for the first time since it started the negotiations with the Centre in 1997.

"We have never had talks with political leaders ... But we have to if they are assigned by the central government', NSCN(IM) leader R Raising told reporters on Monday after Muivah's meeting with the Centre's interlocutor A K Mishra at Dimapur.

Asked if Sarma has been officially appointed to have parleys with the Naga negotiators, Kronu told PTI, "He is assisting us as he is the convener of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and knows the issue".

He, however, declined to divulge details of the discussion held between Sarma and NSCN(IM) leadership. Sarma later tweeted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are committed to ensure "ever-lasting peace" in the north east.

"At Dimapur today, we held a discussion with NSCN(IM) representatives in presence of Nagaland HCM Sri Neiphiu Rio about the ongoing peace talks with the Government of India.

"We are all keen that the onoing Peace Talks fructify into concrete results soon. I also discussed the political scenario in Nagaland with the HCM as well the upcoming Nagaland Assembly elections and NEDA role in it," the Assam chief minister said.

Kronu also said that Sarma also had a sitting with the presidents of Nationalist Democratic Progressive (NDPP) and the state BJP. It was Sarma, who had formally declared the alliance between BJP and NDPP ahead of the 2018 Nagaland assembly election.

The minister said it was a courtesy visit to reaffirm that BJP and NDPP will remain partners even for the 2023 state election. Chief Minister Rio and Deputy CM Y Patton were also present during the poltical parties' meeting with Sarma, he said. In reply to a question Kronu said there was no discussion in the meeting on the newly formed all party government United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in Nagaland. PTI

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