Even as the whole of Nagaland is waiting with bated breath for the culmination of the peace process, the Centre on Saturday has assured the eight groups engaged in the negotiations that announcement of Lok Sabha election dates would not act as hindrance in signing of the Naga peace accord, a report stated.
The report quoting a key talks facilitator stated that in case the Election Commission of India (ECI) announces the election dates before the accord is signed, outcome of the Naga peace process will not amount to violation of the model code of conduct.
The duration of the ongoing Naga peace talks has been among the longest – the ceasefire pact between the Centre and NSCN (I-M) was signed in 1997.
Since then, seven other Naga groups have joined the peace process- GPRN/NSCN, FGN, NNC (parent body), NPGN/NNC (NA), NSCN (R), NNC/GDRN and NSCN (K) led by Khango Konyak under the umbrella of Naga National Political Group (NNPG).
Earlier, deputy National Security Advisor (NSA) and Government of India’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks, R N Ravi had told a daily from Nagaland that the Naga political peace process does not have much to do with the elections.
He also admitted that ‘differing positions’ on the demand for separate Naga flag and Constitution has delayed signing of the final agreement.
The Naga peace talks centre on the demand for a ‘Greater Nagalim’- comprising contiguous Naga-inhabited areas in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Myanmar.
The interlocutor also maintained that the final agreement could be signed the moment the Naga negotiators ‘reciprocate with pragmatic flexibilities’, according to reports.
The interlocutor was also quoted as saying that the Naga peace talks was at the concluding stage.
The Centre’s interlocutor also maintained that the peace process has become truly inclusive with the seven Naga groups coming onboard.