Looking beyond territorial integrity Time for State BJP to state stand

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already assured the people of Manipur that there is nothing in the Framework Agreement that can pose a threat to the territorial integrity of the State. This was before the State went to the Assembly polls in the early part of this year. Fast forward by some months and now there is the Congress party which has raised the banner that it would not accept any settlement that impinges on the interest of Manipur. The same line of thought has also been echoed by different civil society organisations, such as the All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) and United Committee, Manipur (UCM). On the other hand, the State unit of the BJP has dismissed the ‘apprehension’ of the Congress over the Framework Agreement, urging all that the territorial integrity of the State will be respected. However the BJP led Government as well as the State unit of the BJP have not yet said anything substantial on the ‘seeds of disintegration’ that may be sown when the final pact is inked. An apprehension which has been echoed more loudly after Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang was quoted as saying that Naga integration may not come immediately but the door for such an integration is kept wide open. Moreover remember one here is dealing with a far sighted personality, Thuingaleng Muivah who has demonstrated that he can look beyond. Perhaps the apprehension echoed by the Congress may be understood in this context. What would be the position of the State BJP be if some sort of an administrative model is worked out that the areas identified by the NSCN (IM) as the home of the Nagas come directly under a new set of mechanism, bypassing the State Government ?
The position of the BJP led coalition Government is understandable, but what is stopping its other partners, notably the NPP and the LJP from coming out and stating their stand for public consumption ? How about those who were elected as Congress candidates but switched side to the ruling BJP. A coalition Government cannot only be about sharing the spoils of power but also sharing responsibilities and it is not the BJP alone which should come under the eyes of the Congress and the CSOs but also the other coalition partners. Talking about coalition partners, it does not make much sense on asking the Naga People’s Front to spell out its stand vis-a-vis the territorial integrity of Manipur or the existence of Manipur as a geo-political entity, for its stand has already been spelt out more than once. Remember the 2012 Assembly election when the then Chief Minister of Nagaland, Nephiu Rio literally became the star campaigner of the NPF in Manipur. Having said this, it has to be admitted something will have to be given to the NSCN (IM) for after all a final pact always means a degree of give and take. The only question is, what is it that will be given to the NSCN (IM) and in what form ? It is this apprehension which is being aired by the Congress and it would do good for the BJP not to simply dismiss the apprehension expressed by the Congress. The truth of the matter is, everyone is apprehensive of what the final pact would be about and what the Framework Agreement is all about. On the other hand, it would help if the BJP led Government spells out the progress of two men Consultative Committee, formed to monitor the peace talk some time back.


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