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NE States not consulted on Naga Accord: Sonia

By Spl Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, Aug 6 - In a first scathing attack on the NDA government over the manner in which the Naga Accord was signed with NSCN(I-M), Congress president Sonia Gandhi today slammed the Modi government, accusing it of not taking Chief Ministers of north-eastern States into confidence.

Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, who have been agitating against the suspension of 25 Congress MPs from Lok Sabha, charged that voice of the three States of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is being �suppressed�.

Talking to newsmen in Parliament House complex, the Congress president said when she called her party�s Chief Ministers in the three States, who are directly affected by the Naga Accord, she found that they were �totally blank� on the issue.

�Nobody has even bothered to brief them, perhaps not in detail, but even in a wide sense. After all, our Chief Ministers are directly affected, be it Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh or Assam. So, what do I take from this? From this I take that this government is arrogant.

�This government keeps on saying that everybody has to be taken along and that they will hold consultations with all. Then what happened?

�Their arrogance is now even more clear than before. And it is an insult not only to the Chief Ministers, but to the people of those States and to the federal structure of our country,� she said.

After the signing of the Accord, the Prime Minister had called up leaders of various political parties, including former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, informing them about the signing of an agreement with NSCN(I-M), though it has been clear whether he discussed the details of the Accord.

The accord was signed following nearly two decades of peace talks. Congress Chief Ministers Tarun Gogoi and Nabam Tuki of Arunachal Pradesh had welcomed the accord. While welcoming the Naga peace deal, Gogoi had expressed astonishment on why �clauses of the agreement had been kept in the dark�.

Meanwhile, the BJP rejected the allegation saying Gandhi�s charges are far from the truth as the Congress-ruled States were consulted but they chose to boycott the meeting.

Briefing newsmen, party leader and Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused the Congress of playing politics even on the issue of national security. She wondered, how the Congress chief is questioning the accord, when the party leaders had welcomed it soon after the announcement.

Replying to a question on details of the accord, Sitharaman said the government is working on it and it will be made public at an appropriate time. She clarified that Centre does not want to hide anything. She said the people of Northeast want development and peace and the NDA government is working in that direction, but the Opposition party does not like it. The government believes in cooperative federalism and has always consulted States on every issue, including Land Acquisition and GST Bills and even on reconstitution of NITI Aayog, she said.

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NE States not consulted on Naga Accord: Sonia

NEW DELHI, Aug 6 - In a first scathing attack on the NDA government over the manner in which the Naga Accord was signed with NSCN(I-M), Congress president Sonia Gandhi today slammed the Modi government, accusing it of not taking Chief Ministers of north-eastern States into confidence.

Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, who have been agitating against the suspension of 25 Congress MPs from Lok Sabha, charged that voice of the three States of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is being �suppressed�.

Talking to newsmen in Parliament House complex, the Congress president said when she called her party�s Chief Ministers in the three States, who are directly affected by the Naga Accord, she found that they were �totally blank� on the issue.

�Nobody has even bothered to brief them, perhaps not in detail, but even in a wide sense. After all, our Chief Ministers are directly affected, be it Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh or Assam. So, what do I take from this? From this I take that this government is arrogant.

�This government keeps on saying that everybody has to be taken along and that they will hold consultations with all. Then what happened?

�Their arrogance is now even more clear than before. And it is an insult not only to the Chief Ministers, but to the people of those States and to the federal structure of our country,� she said.

After the signing of the Accord, the Prime Minister had called up leaders of various political parties, including former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, informing them about the signing of an agreement with NSCN(I-M), though it has been clear whether he discussed the details of the Accord.

The accord was signed following nearly two decades of peace talks. Congress Chief Ministers Tarun Gogoi and Nabam Tuki of Arunachal Pradesh had welcomed the accord. While welcoming the Naga peace deal, Gogoi had expressed astonishment on why �clauses of the agreement had been kept in the dark�.

Meanwhile, the BJP rejected the allegation saying Gandhi�s charges are far from the truth as the Congress-ruled States were consulted but they chose to boycott the meeting.

Briefing newsmen, party leader and Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused the Congress of playing politics even on the issue of national security. She wondered, how the Congress chief is questioning the accord, when the party leaders had welcomed it soon after the announcement.

Replying to a question on details of the accord, Sitharaman said the government is working on it and it will be made public at an appropriate time. She clarified that Centre does not want to hide anything. She said the people of Northeast want development and peace and the NDA government is working in that direction, but the Opposition party does not like it. The government believes in cooperative federalism and has always consulted States on every issue, including Land Acquisition and GST Bills and even on reconstitution of NITI Aayog, she said.