Tokheho clarifies on statement in Lok Sabha

agaland Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yephtomi.(File Photo)

agaland Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yephtomi.(File Photo)

DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 15 (MExN): After the NSCN (IM) termed Nagaland Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yephtomi’s statement in Parliament on February 12 as having left “much to be regretted,” the Nagaland MP said that he has “no ill-motive or intention to go against the Naga political negotiations which have been going on for the last twenty-three and half years.”

A press release from the MP today stated that on February 12 the Speaker of Lok Sabha was kind enough to give two minutes to few Members of Parliament to raise “matters of urgent public importance.” 

“Adhering to the two-minute time given to each Member of Parliament I could not have gone on to divulge the historical and political dynamics of the Naga political issue which has been going on for more than seven decades now,” Yepthomi stated. 

He affirmed appreciation and support for the Framework Agreement and the Agreed Position between Government of India and Naga groups.  “Therefore as and when the agreement is signed it will go down the annals of history as testimony of the grit and determination of Nagas,” the MP said.

He further clarified that “I did not contradict my statement about the ongoing negotiations, rather the only issue I raised was in correspondence to the reply of Ministry of Home Affairs to my Unstarred Question No 1330 laid on February 9, 2021.” The reply to the MP’s question said  that “negotiations were in advanced stage.” 

The MP said that on the other hand, the Nagaland Governor had stated on the floor of the State Assembly on February 12 that negotiations had been concluded. 

“Herein laid the contradiction to the reply of my Unstarred question which made me raise this issue in Parliament for clarification. My participation was only focused to draw attention of the Indian Parliament for an early Agreement to Naga Political Negotiations,” he added.

The MP further stated that whether agreement on the Naga political negotiations is made within a time bound period or not, is the prerogative of negotiating parties involved.

“Nagas have been living together with mutual respect, love, tolerance and understanding. It is this reciprocity that has made our land peaceful for many years now and I can only hope that by the grace and mercy of God we can leave behind a society better than we found for future generations,” the MP stated.

On February 14, the NSCN (IM) had also taken exception to the usage of terms like “underground” and “militant.” 

It had also said that the historical and political dynamics were missing in the MP’s presentation, while also pointing out that “… he could not even quote the correct date of the signing of the historic Framework Agreement.”