New Delhi: All 60 legislators of Nagaland, cutting across party-lines, on Tuesday appealed to the Prime Minister to finalise an acceptable solution to the vexed Naga issue before assembly polls next year with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio even offering to step down to facilitate formation of a party-less interim government to take forward the peace process.
In a meeting, the legislators conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh that time was "ripe" for arriving at a settlement, capping years of negotiations between the Centre and Naga groups including NSCN(IM) and that they are ready to make any "sacrifice" to ensure permanent peace in the troubled state.
The legislators even told Singh that they would prefer a final settlement to the issue, noting that 15 years of ceasefire and political dialogue with NSCN(IM) was enough for the Centre to understand the issue and arrive at a solution.
"Naga people feel that 15 years of ceasefire and political dialogue was long enough a period for Government of India to understand the issue. They now want an acceptable and honourable solution to the issue before next year`s assembly polls," Rio said addressing at press conference along with the legislators. Assembly polls are due in the state in March next year.
He said it was a "rare occasion" for all the political parties to come together and make pledge to make any kind of sacrifice to have a permanent settlement.
The delegation also met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and made similar request.