Congress-BJP Spar: Is the Naga Agreement A Framework or an Accord?
NEW DELHI: The confusion surrounding the Naga Accord when it was first announced last August has still not cleared. Opposition parties have started questioning the government for what they claim is a non-accord, a charge that seems to be gathering ground considering the lack of details about this agreement.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju rubbished the Congress criticism of the government over the Naga accord and said that the grand old party’s version of the same on the microblogging site Twitter was not right.
The Indian National Congress (INC) has on its Twitter handle posted a Press Information Bureau (PIB) report published on August 3, 2015, as saying ‘PM witnesses signing of historic peace accord between Government of India and Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)’.
The government has only signed a framework with the NSCN. The framework was apparently first projected as a Naga accord. The Naga issue which is an age old issue of ethnic crisis is due to be solved for many years. So far different government have tried but got little success.
Congress Spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told The Citizen, “It is amazing that the senior members of the government has been claiming of solving the age old Naga issue in one and half years. blaming us that we could not do anything in the past 60 years. The facts are, however, far from the reality. There is no accord on the ground and only a framework. This is the modus operandi of the ruling party. This does not speak well for the government, and it should be careful before claiming anything”.
In the same tweet, the Congress posted a written answer by Rijiju on March 1 in response to questions (a) & (b) in the Lok Sabha, which says, “Government of India has not signed any Naga Accord in recent years.” Rijiju, however, in his defence said, “The page that they have seen had some old draft, which is not our official version. I have got our official version checked, and according to that we have done a framework agreement with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), which will work as a guiding principal in finding the final solution between India and Naga people.” And thus, the Congress Party’s tweet is not correct, he added. Rijiju further said that he has asked the concerned officials to provide the government’s official version to the media and remove the old website content.
“The official paper is that that we have sent to the Lok Sabha, in which we have divulged information about our framework agreement with NSCN,” he said.
Editor of Free Press, Imphal, Pradip Phanjobam, told The Citizen, “ There is no accord in the first place. It is a long pending issue. There are several layers. It is been there for years and what we have achieved is just a framework in the past 60 years. The accord requires a lot of work. This confusion should not be encouraged”.