Guwahati, Assam: In what might create political ripples ahead of assembly elections in Manipur next week, the Naga rebel group NSCN(IM), which has signed a Framework Agreement with the centre for the Naga peace deal, on Friday claimed that the centre has recognised the legal rights of the Nagas and proclaimed “integration the legitimate rights of the Nagas.”
The NSCN(IM), in a press statement, also claimed that there will be a transformation in the history of the Naga very soon.
The framework agreement inked between the centre and the NSCN(IM) is a key election issue in Manipur.
NSCN(IM) has also claimed that there are some individuals trying to sabotage the peace talks between them and the central government by projecting a new means as “Nagas of Nagaland”.
The ruling Congress in Manipur has been claiming that the BJP is hand in gloves with NSCN(IM) and United Naga Council or UNC and they are the architect of the economic blockade, which has been on for nearly four months. To counter this campaign, last week Home Minister Rajnath Singh claimed at a poll rally in Imphal that there is ‘no mention of Manipur’ in the framework agreement since August 2015.
Various student and civil society groups in Imphal valley have been demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi disclose the clauses of the framework agreement signed in August 2015 with the NSCN(IM).
The Congress’s main campaign has been on protecting Manipur’s territorial integrity against the concept of greater Nagalim (Integration of Naga areas in Northeast).
The statement by NSCN(IM) came a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first election rally in Imphal. Manipur will go to polls in two phases on March 4 and 8 for its 60 member legislative assembly. While the Congress has been in power for 15 years, the BJP has gained ground and emerged as the main opposition party to the Congress in this election with several Congress leaders switching to the BJP camp. Votes will be counted on March 11.