Less than two weeks after it was formed to persuade political parties against contesting in the upcoming state assembly elections, the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations (CCNTHCO) on Tuesday decided to dissolve the committee.
A press release issued by the committee after a long closed-door meeting with representatives of political parties and insurgent groups at Hotel Japfu in Kohima, read: “… the CCNTHCO resolved to dissolve the committee since all the political parties had already violated the January 29 Declaration which their representatives had signed at Hotel Japfu.”
The committee, which claimed it had the mandate of the people to press on the demand of “solution before election”, had with the support of seven Naga insurgent groups, compelled 11 political parties to sign a joint agreement to not contest the elections to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly. But with a day left for the last date of filing of nominations, candidates started filing nominations today.
Talking to indianexpress.com after the dissolution of the committee, its convenor Theja Therieh accepted that the committee was not on the same page with the people of Nagaland. They are more concerned about the content of the solution rather than stopping the election process, he said.
“In the grassroot people are all set to go for election and so don’t want to stand between people and their will to participate in the democratic process,” Therieh said on the decision to dissolve the CCNTHCO.
Asked why the leaders had failed to understand the sentiments of the people, Therieh said, “This is a traditional system of taking the issue to the public and once public gives decision we take final call. This time around we had no time for that, so we created consensus at organisational level and sent message down.”
Therieh accepted that the people were largely “reluctant” to stand by the committee’s demand for ‘solution before election’ without knowing what the solution is.
On whether the committee has broached the subject of the nature of solution with the Naga insurgent groups during negotiations, Therieh said, “At the moment we were not insisting them to show what is the content.” But, he categorically added, “Till such time they are ready to reveal the content to the people there is no question of finalisation of any solution.”
“We are all longing for solution, but since is not time bound or there is no transparency and clarity, we are also equally worried as to what solution is going to bring us. Will it relieve us or will it burden us even more,” he observed on the Framework Agreement, the secret nature of which has baffled all sections.
Meanwhile, the CCNTHCO, in its press release, held the BJP responsible for what it termed as “the first violation of the solemn undertaking”, referring to the party’s backing out of the joint declaration of January 29. It also added that “The proverbial final nail in the Solution before Election coffin was hammered in when candidates from various parties started filing nominations whilst the CCNTHCO meeting was still on.”
“Finally, it is for the Naga people to judge as to who threw the spanner in the way of Naga Solution,” the press release concluded.
While the Nagaland Legislative Assembly had in December 2017 resolved to urge the Government of India to ensure a solution to the Indo-Naga political issue before holding elections in the state, the opposition by civil organisations to the demand had taken many by surprise. Local social media groups saw a large section of educated Nagas openly voicing their disagreement to the call for boycotting elections. Many also questioned the presence of ACAUT, an anti-corruption activist group, in the core committee as it had been at the forefront of the Clean Election Campaign initiated by the Nagaland Baptist Churches Council.