Nagaland governor P.B. Acharya today said it was important for the state to have a strong government for a resolution of the decades old “Naga political problem” and hoped the factions within the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) would reconcile.
Talking to The Telegraph over phone from Delhi this morning, Acharya said he was weighing all legal options to end the stalemate that has gripped the ruling NPF and by extension has hit governance.
“The NPF had received a strong mandate from the people and they should not squander it away,” he said. “Nagaland needs a strong government to find a solution to the political problem,” he said in reference to the ongoing dialogue between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M).
The governor said it was not only resolution of the political problem, but a strong government was needed also to take Nagaland economically forward.
“Nagaland stands to benefit from the Centre’s Look East and Act East policy and the opportunity should not be allowed to be frittered away, but for that we need stability in the state,” he said.
The governor said there was a strong government at the Centre and it was keen and sincere about finding a solution to the problem.
The talks between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M) have dragged on for more than 17 years, but after taking over the reigns last year, the BJP-led government has assured to resolve the issue in 18 months.
“It is in the interest of the people of the state who have high expectations from the NPF that they should reconcile,” the governor said.
Both the camps in the NPF – one led by chief minister T.R. Zeliang and the other by G. Kaito Aye – claim to have majority legislators on their sides and have approached the governor to find a way out.
While the dissidents, led by Kaito Aye, say they are not asking for a change of government but only want the chief minister to step down as he had lost majority, the other group has sought a trial of strength on the floor of the Assembly.
“I am looking at the legal options and seeking opinion in this regard, but I cannot act in haste,” Acharya said.
“At the same time I am also making efforts so that there is reconciliation,” he said.
The church in Nagaland has also called upon the NPF to reconcile and had asked its constituents across the state to hold prayers seeking divine intervention to break the impasse.
However, it is unlikely at this point of time for the two sides to shake hands going by the mood of at least one of them. “Rapprochement is possible only if they accept Kaito Aye as chief minister. We will accept them back with all honour and dignity,” Imkong L. Imchen, spokesperson for the dissident camp, said.
In this either-this-or-nothing scenario, the ball is squarely in the governor’s court.