`Separate state` demand keeps Nagaland CM sleepless

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DIMAPUR, Aug 6 (Newmai News Network): One issue has been keeping Nagaland Chief Minister and his cabinet ministers sleepless nights for sometime now.

The demand of the Eastern Naga People`s Organisation (ENPO) for a separate state by bifurcating Nagaland has been the household topic of Nagaland at the moment. The Neiphiu Rio led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government in trying to find a way to address the issue seemed to have run out of potentiality.

According to a report, the Chief Minister and his senior cabinet ministers are seeking appointments to meet Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and also some union ministers including P.Chidambaram in this connection.

It is not confirmed whether the Prime Minister Office (PMO) has set the date for the Nagaland government high level team. A report in a Dimapur based newspaper however, said the Neiphiu Rio led team will air-dash to New Delhi on August 9.

For the last several months, the Eastern Naga People`s Organisation (ENPO) has been pressing for a separate statehood christened as “Frontier Nagaland” by bifurcating Nagaland state.

The four eastern districts of Nagaland–Longleng, Mon, Kiphire and Tuensang–comprised the proposed “Frontier Nagaland” demanded by the ENPO. The main reason for the ENPO`s move has been a `step-motherly` treatment by the Nagaland government for a long time. The ENPO has been lamenting that the successive Nagaland governments have failed to bring any economic development in the four districts.

In response to this, the Neiphiu Rio government after having had taken few months of studying the ENPO`s demand has come up with an offer in the form of Autonomous District Council under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The ENPO out rightly rejected the offer. “We will not accept anything less than a statehood,” asserted the ENPO.

It may not be wrong to say that the ENPO`s demand also gives some botheration to the NSCN-IM leadership. Such a demand to bifurcate Nagaland state has come in the face of NSCN-IM`s campaign for the integration of all Naga inhabited areas under one administrative unit.

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