Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on January 17 attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of doing nothing to bring about a solution to the Naga political issue for nine years after the Framework Agreement was signed in 2015.
Addressing a public rally during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra led by him at Nagaland’s Mokokchung town, Mr. Gandhi said a solution to the problem cannot be brought without having the trust of the Naga people, and without a discussion with them.
Attacking the Prime Minister, he said, “If you don’t have a solution, you should not lie and say you have a solution. You can say that we have to work towards the solution and we will work towards the solution but you must not lie to the Naga people.”
He said that the Congress understands that the issue is serious and a solution is required.
Referring to the Framework Agreement, the former Congress president said, “What the Prime Minister promised nine years ago is an empty vow to the Naga people.”
During a press conference at Chiephobozou on Tuesday, Mr. Gandhi asserted his party is committed to a solution to the decades-old Naga Political Issue.
The Naga insurgency began in 1947. To find a solution to the decades-old problem, the Centre has been holding separate negotiations with NSCN-IM since 1997 and the Working Committee of Naga National Political Group (NNPG), comprising at least seven groups, since 2017.
The Modi Government inked a Framework Agreement with NSCN-IM in 2015 and Agreed Position with NNPGs in 2017. However, the final solution is yet to be attained with NSCN-IM remaining adamant on its demand for a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas.
After travelling almost 180 km from Khuzama village in Kohima district to Mokokchung by road, Mr. Gandhi said he observed the bumpy road condition and the erratic power supply.
Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra: Rahul Gandhi interacts with bikers in Nagaland’s Mokokchung
He said, “How can young Nagas compete with the rest of the young people in the country who have better facilities? It is a betrayal to the people of Nagaland. How can we expect to bring a positive future to the people of Nagaland with these roads?”
Claiming that an ideological war is going on in India, the Congress leader alleged that the RSS and BJP are attacking various cultures and religions in the country.
“As Indians, everyone should respect each other’s tradition, culture, food habits and religious practices, but the RSS and BJP are attacking them and disrespecting them,” he claimed.
Mr. Gandhi also attacked the Prime Minister for not visiting Manipur despite months of ethnic strife in the State.
“As an Indian, I am ashamed that the Prime Minister has not been to Manipur yet after what happened there,” he said.
Mr. Gandhi visited Manipur for two days in June last year, weeks after the violence broke out in the State, and met the affected people lodged in relief camps in several districts.
He asserted that the idea of the Yatra is to bring the attention of the entire country to the people of Manipur, Nagaland and other northeastern States.
Mr. Gandhi said that after completing the Yatra, he would come back to Nagaland and spend more days with the people to interact with the youngsters on their aspirations.
The Congress leader declared that henceforth, Nagas have a soldier in New Delhi named Rahul Gandhi.
He said, “If you need me to raise any issue in Parliament I will be happy to do it.”
He also encouraged young people, especially girls, to enter politics and give Nagaland a new vision for the future.
Mr. Gandhi will halt for the night at Tuli and enter Assam on Thursday morning for his onward Yatra.