Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “unilateral” decisions for the situation prevailing in Nagaland vis-a-vis Assembly elections as several civil society groups and political parties have sought deferment of the February 27 polls.
He said the Prime Minister did not take into confidence various stakeholders when the Naga Framework Agreement was signed between separatist National Socialist Council of Nagalim — Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) and the central government in 2015.
Several Naga groups under the banner of Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hoho and Civil Organisations (CCNTCHOC) and political parties have demanded postponement of the state polls to facilitate early resolution to the protracted Naga insurgency issue.
“Nobody has understood what the Prime Minister had signed, (or) whether he had signed. This is his style. This (Naga accord) is similar to (November 8, 2016) demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax at midnight,” Gandhi told journalists.
“Modi called up then Congress President Sonia Gandhi one evening and told her we have solved the Naga problem and signed an accord. Soniaji called me and told what Modi conveyed to her. She told me to check with the then Congress Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur to find if they were aware of the accord and were consulted by the Prime Minister,” Gandhi recalled.
“They (Chief Ministers) called the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) and were told that the MHA had no idea about the deal. Then they wrote to the Union Home Minister, and he too informed them that he had no idea what exactly the accord was,” he said.
Reacting to the crisis in Nagaland, Gandhi said: “The style of functioning of the Prime Minister has led to Nagaland’s reaction. It shows a large number of people do not believe in the Prime Minister because he has got credibility problem.”
Congress General Secretary in charge of Nagaland affairs of the party, C.P. Joshi, said that the party will take decision on the Nagaland elections soon.
On Monday, 11 political parties, including ruling Naga People’s Front, and the Bharatiya Janata Party, had issued a joint declaration not to give party tickets or file nominations for the Assembly polls after calls by various tribal groups for a “Solution before Election”.
The joint declaration was also signed by the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Janata Dal-United, the Lok Janshakti Party, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Nagaland Democratic People’s Party, the Nagaland Congress, the United Naga Democratic Party and the National People’s Party at a meeting convened by the CCNTCHOC, which cautioned that any candidate or party defying the call will be treated as “anti-Naga”.
However, Nagaland BJP President Visasolie Lhoungu said that the party state unit will “abide by the directives of the party high command” and its state Vice President Kheto Sema has been suspended for signing a declaration without consulting senior party leaders.