‘We don’t want to link the talks with elections’: Kiren Rijiju

With Assembly polls likely next month, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, the BJP’s election in charge for Nagaland in an interview with The Hindu says the government does not want to link talks with the NSCN(IM) to the elections.

“This [election] is special and challenging as talks are going on between the NSCN-IM and our interlocutor [R.N Ravi]. While talks are going on, many people expect it to conclude fast and the election process to start thereafter. We don’t want to link the talks with elections. Elections are a democratic process.” said Rijiju.

“The Naga people are aspiring for peace, and peace is possible only if we go with the plan adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, within five months of assuming power, had signed a framework agreement with the NSCN-IM. Of course, not every section of society and underground groups are endorsing the talks, but since it has been going on for long with the NSCN-IM, we cannot break it and have to continue with it.” the union minister for home added.

“In the framework agreement we have made one thing clear —that sovereignty which the Naga rebels were asking for, will not be granted nor is it part of the discussions. The talks will be within the framework of the Indian Constitution.” Rijiju added.