Temjen Along expresses regret over his remark on Naga issue

"I express my deepest regrets on his recent interview to a TV channel, if my views have hurt the sentiments of any Naga individual, organisation or political groups in any way".

Nagaland minister Temjen Imna Along who has been under tremendous pressure from Naga civil society organisations, political groups and tribal hohos over his statement following the formation of Core Committee on Naga Political Issue (CCNPI) on Friday issued a press release and expressed deepest regrets. “I express my deepest regrets on his recent interview to a TV channel, if my views have hurt the sentiments of any Naga individual, organisation or political groups in any way”, he said.

The Nagaland minister of higher education and tribal affairs, also the state BJP president in a television interview said “Any solution that would come should be under the Constitution of India and it should be under Indian union. So anything that is good for the Naga people under the Constitution of India should be pursued and done.”

Ever since the statement given, Along, state BJP president came under tremendous backlash from several CSOs and Naga political groups including Nagaland state political party, the Janata Dal (U), Naga Hoho, United Naga Council, Rengma and Zeliangrong Council Assam, Angami Youth Organization, NSCN-IM CAO Ao region among others vehemently condemned Along’s statement pertaining to Naga political solution within the Indian Constitution.

Temjen in the release said that “Nagas have a long unique civilisation and precious lives and resources have been sacrificed in safeguarding the unique history and identity. Over the decades many strides have been made towards fulfilling the long cherished aspirations of the Nagas, he maintained. In the course of the negotiations and talks, both sides have made compromises on their respective stances. Nonetheless, Naga representatives have been able to make the government of India understand and accept the uniqueness of Naga history. Even so, the talks have hit a deadlock and consequently a stalemate,” he said.

Temjen further added that “solution to the protracted Naga issue should be charted and scaled which is not only the aspiration of the Nagas but also the need of the hour. We cannot afford to drag this unresolved issue any longer. To this end, as the present situation and trajectory of the talks stands, I am also impelled to endorse the view of the Core Committee on Naga Political Issue that the stalemate on the current issue can be settled in a pragmatic and rational manner which is acceptable to both the sides. This is not to say that Naga aspirations should be entirely forfeited but that a constitutional process be carried out while charting out a long lasting honorable solution for Nagas,” he added.

The minister further pointed out that Nagas should pay heed to the clarion call of clear conscience and invoke providence from our Almighty God so that Nagas stand together as a people with love, respect and humility and give out a strong unified voice. He added that Naga Civil Societies have tremendous potential to play a proactive role in bringing all sections of the Naga society together to reason out collective wisdom towards a sustainable common future of Nagas, he maintained.

The release from the state BJP president ended with an appeal to all fellow Nagas as well as the government of India that an honourable and sustainable solution be worked out so that tomorrow’s generation of Nagas will live with dignity.

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