As Congress’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ entered Nagaland on Tuesday, party leader Rahul Gandhi said that the Naga problem requires resolution, but it is lacking “conversation, listening to each other and working in implementing a solution.”
“There is a problem that needs resolution and clearly, that is a problem that will require conversation, listening to each other and working to implement a solution and that is lacking as far as the Prime Minister’s concern. I don’t know his mind or his approach but I do get the sense that the Prime Minister promises things without thinking them through,” Rahul Gandhi said while addressing the media in Nagaland’s Chiephobozou.
The Nagaland insurgency is considered to be one of the oldest insurgencies in the country. Several tribal groups have been demanding that the state be declared ‘autonomous’ from the country. They have been seeking a separate constitution and flag for the state.
However, several governments, during their respective tenures, have attempted to bring stability to the matter. During the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in 2015, a peace accord was signed between the government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said that PM Modi makes promises without thinking them through and that people are disturbed because the Prime Minister’s credibility is on the line.
“The Prime Minister made many promises to the youth of India; he made promises about education and employment, which he thinks he just made, and the people are disturbed by the Prime Minister’s credibility on the line that nothing has happened for nine years,” he said.
Rahul also said that it is a “tragedy” that for nine years there have only been empty words and Centre has not done anything to resolve the issues in Nagaland.
“I have been speaking to quite a few Naga leaders and they are perplexed as to why no progress has been made, we are not even clear about what the Prime Minister envisions in terms of a solution; ‘it’s a very superficial document’ that says yes, we are going to work towards peace and joined sovereignty but it’s not clear what exactly they mean and a lot of the Naga organisations here simply don’t understand what the Prime Minister was trying to do and what the way forward is,” he added.
Rahul Gandhi added that the Congress is committed to finding a solution to Nagaland’s problem.
Mr Gandhi further stated that the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari to Kashmir was a very impactful and successful yatra that brought the people together, transformed the political narrative and placed the alternative narrative in the divisive work of the BJP.
“The Congress had decided to do a similar yatra from east to west and decided to start in Manipur because of the tragedy that has taken place there: the loss of life, loss of property, and violence. The Prime Minister has not even cared to visit the state, which is a sad and shameful affair,” he added.
Manipur has been seeing ethnic violence since May last year over the issue of the inclusion of the Meiti community in the ‘Scheduled Tribes’ list.
Meanwhile, speaking on the yatra, the Congress leader said, “The yatra will go all the way to Maharashtra. I would have liked it to be a walking yatra but due to time constraints, the party has decided it to be a hybrid yatra.”
“We will attempt to walk as much as possible,” he said, adding that there are some places where walking is difficult and other issues, but the idea behind the Nyay yatra is to fight for justice, to raise the issue of social, political and economic justice, and each state has its own characteristics to raise state-specific issues.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra resumed on the third day from Kohima in Nagaland in the early hours of Tuesday. On Monday, the yatra completed its path in Manipur after commencing in Sekmai.
Meanwhile, as Congress’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ entered Nagaland’s Kohima on Monday evening, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that a delegation of the Naga HOHO representing Naga organisations from different states met with Rahul Gandhi.
They submitted a memorandum to him seeking implementation of the Framework Agreement signed between the Centre and the NSCN-IM in 2015.
Naga HOHO is an apex body empowered to make crucial decisions related to the people belonging to the Naga community.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)