Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has stated that any peace agreement with Nagaland which changes the geography of Manipur even by one inch will be opposed steadfastly by the Congress party.
The senior Congress leader arrived in Imphal on Sunday along with five members of the AICC to take stock of the situation of Manipur post Indo-Naga talks. He was accompanied by general secretary AICC, Mukul Wasnik; ex-MP Jitrendra Singh, MP Manikcham Tagore, AICC secretary Ranajit Mukherjee and Mohamad Ali Khan.
Ramesh, in a press conference, told reporters the team was formed under the supervision of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to study the problems of North East mainly arising of the Naga Peace Accord, Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2016 and National Registrar of Citizenship (NRC). However, as the present unrest prevailing in Manipur owing to Naga peace talks demands immediate intervention, the team decided to visit Manipur first, he added.
He stated that although the Indo-Naga Framework Agreement was signed in August 3, 2015 between the government of India (GoI) and Naga Groups the content remains a “complete secret”.
Even the then home minister, Rajnath Singh and chief ministers of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh are not aware about it, he continued. However, he stated that Congress party both at the center and state are steadfast against any policy to disintegrate Manipur’s existing boundary or internal political arrangement among others.
“Congress Party will strongly, steadfastly and stoutly oppose any accord in Nagaland which changes the geography of Manipur. Any agreement with changes of relationship of autonomous district council in Manipur with the government of Manipur will be opposed by the Congress party in state and nation”, he assured.
Recalling some of the accord signed during the Congress regime, he reminded that none of the accords signed be it the Assam Accord 1985, Punjab Peace Accord, Mizoram Accord 1987 among others did not change the boundary of the states. The present BJP government must also resolve the over 22 years old peace talk without affecting any community, he advised.
The former minister demanded the present government to make the terms and conditions of negotiation between GoI and Naga Groups, to be made public besides taking onboard the three Northeastern state that could be affected by the outcome of the peace deal. He termed the Citizenship Amendment Bill as discriminatory it goes against the secular value of Constitution.
On NRC, Ramesh stated that it was a part of the Assam accord 1985 and urged to be very careful before conducted the exercise outside the state. “The NRC must not harass the citizen of India”, he said. He further termed all this policy as a diversion of Narendra Modi Government to distract the people from the real issue of farmers suffering, rising unemployment, falling revenue among others.
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