Eyes now on Delhi for some days Laying the cards on the table
Keen on resolving the long pending issues and come to a definite stand by the end of this year. It is amid this air of optimism that several leaders of the NSCN (IM) led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah are now in Delhi and this air of optimism is definitely welcome. That the dialogue will now take off after a long lull is definitely noted and all will be looking forward to see how things progress and how New Delhi and the leadership of the NSCN (IM) make their way around the contentious demand of a separate flag and Constitution put up by the outfit. The Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) on the other hand seemed satisfied with the talk proceeding without the demand for a separate flag and Constitution and this is where it will become interesting to see how the Centre walks between the two diametrically opposite stand put up by the two groups with which it is in talks to ink the final deal. It also remains to be seen whether the NSCN (IM) will go ahead with the other major demands which it has put up during the long, long years of political negotiations, such as the demand for a Greater Lim or Nagalim and more autonomy to areas which it has identified as Naga dominated districts in Manipur. It is also not at all clear whether the NSCN (IM) has dropped the demand for a Greater Lim though the BJP led Government at New Delhi had on more than occasion made it clear that there will be no redrawing the political map of the North East region. Since not much have been heard of the Lim demand of late, does it mean that this demand has been dropped or could it rear its head as the talk progresses ? This is a tough call and there definitely would not be any easy answer to this at the moment.
So for the next few days, the focus of Kohima, Imphal, Guwahati and Itanagar will be on what is going on between the delegates led by Th Muivah and Advisor to the Home Ministry and former IB Special Director Akshay Kumar Mishra and Additional Secretary who is in charge of the North East in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Piyush Goyal. Making things all that more interesting will obviously be the move to take Chief Minister of Nagaland Nephiu Rio and his Assam counter part Himanta Kumar Biswa into confidence and take them on board the ongoing peace negotiation. It is this new development that Imphal must be watching with interest and herein lies so many question. Has Manipur been left out for it does not have much of a stake in the talks ? If this is the case then all would certainly welcome it, but if it is more a case of not taking Imphal into confidence for not all things can be laid on the table, then it would not be welcome at all. It would be politically more prudent for New Delhi to also take Imphal into confidence but the important question is how well it would go with the NSCN (IM).