The Hindu

Nagaland govt. faults Governor’s speech

Ruling alliance says remarks made on I-Day had raised concerns among people

- SPECIAL CORRESPOND­ENT

The People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government in Nagaland has faulted Governor R.N. Ravi’s Independen­ce Day speech, underlinin­g the growing difference­s between the two over the protracted Naga peace process.

The State government, appreciati­ng the Centre for resuming the talks, also asked the opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) to return to the Joint Legislator’s Forum that was formed in 2017 as a catalyst for the peace process involving several extremist groups since 1997.

The NPF had on Tuesday quit the forum citing “huge trust deficit” and indifferen­ce of the PDA government headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to suggestion­s for taking the peace process forward.

“Nagaland is endowed with one of the finest human and natural resources. Unfortunat­ely, today it has the dubious distinctio­n of the worst-performing State in the country, including the northeast region, on almost all the significan­t indicators of human developmen­t,” Mr. Ravi had said in his speech. He is also the interlocut­or for the peace process.

The State government, run by the Nationalis­t Democratic Progressiv­e Party in partnershi­p with the BJP, took its time to react.

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, it said: “The PDA has taken note of the people’s concern on the contents of the honourable

Governor’s Independen­ce Day speech wherein negative statements on Nagaland were made. The PDA observes that the speech has not been well received by the people.”

“Though Nagaland may not be the best performing State, we are making every effort to take the State forward on all developmen­tal fronts. As representa­tives of the people, the PDA is compelled to voice the feelings of the people,” the government said, reminding Mr. Ravi of the awards it had received as performing small State in law and order in 2018 and 2019.

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R.N. Ravi

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