Leader of Opposition TR Zeliang said he believed the appointment of RN Ravi as Nagaland governor would facilitate and speed up the negotiation process between the Naga political groups and the Centre.
Speaking at a programme organised to welcome the new governor at the State Banquet Hall in Kohima on Thursday evening, Zeliang said Ravi understands the pulse of the Naga people.
“If a final solution is not arrived at during his time, the Indo-Naga political negotiation may go back to square one,” he feared.
Zeliang welcomed and congratulated Ravi for taking the rein as the constitutional head of the state.
Zeliang hoped the ongoing dialogues mediated by Ravi, as Governor of Nagaland and as interlocutor of the peace talks, will arrive at a conclusion sooner than later.
He reiterated that it is the desire of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) in particular and the Naga people in general that a final settlement to the protracted Indo-Naga issue is hammered out at the earliest.
He noted that many great leaders, including Swaraj Kaushal, Oscar Fernandes, K. Padmanabhaiah, S.K. Pandey and Ajit Lal had immensely contributed towards the peace process as mediators.
However, uniqueness about Ravi, after appointment as the interlocutor, is that he met almost every major stakeholder and has become the driving force of the Naga peace process.
“Today, his appointment as the Governor of Nagaland has only brought him closer to the Naga people,” Zeliang added.
He said he feels that Ravi can connect to the Naga people better than anyone else at this critical juncture
The former chief minister recalled that Ravi visited chairman of NSCN/GRPN Isak Chishi Swu to sign the Framework Agreement while the latter was admitted in ICU at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi.
Quoting Ravi, Zeliang said his visit to Fortis Hospital to obtain the signature of Swu was with doubt and fear which God had endorsed in order to fulfill the desire of the Naga people and the government of India.
He added Ravi also ensured that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval attend the funeral meeting of Swu at Nagaland House in Delhi after his death on June 28, 2016, which shows his concern for the Naga political issue.
Zeliang also recalled that Ravi told him that August 3, 2015, the framework agreement was signed, was one of the happiest days in his life.
When asked to divulge the contents of the Framework Agreement, Ravi said in a press interview that “we do not serve half-cooked meals to the people”, the Opposition leader said.
“I must say that it is the prayer and hope of the Naga people that, this time, the meal will be well done and the Naga people can relish it to their satisfaction,” he said.
Zeliang told Ravi that there is no ruling or Opposition party in Nagaland when it comes to the Naga political issue. He added all the 60 members of the Nagaland Assembly, regardless of political party affiliation, are unanimous on the issue.