NEW DELHI, Oct 28 - Uncertainty continued to haunt the negotiations between the Centre and NSCN(I-M) even as the two sides reportedly agreed to continue the ongoing dialogue on a daily basis.
The decision to continue the talks on a daily basis is significant in the backdrop of the deadline of October 31 set by the Centre.
The talk on Monday was chaired by Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, who is also the Centre�s interlocutor, while the NSCN(I-M) delegation was led by Th Muivah. Top officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Intelligence Bureau also joined the meeting.
Sources said that the NSCN(I-M) urged the Union government not to insist on the October 31 deadline for signing the final peace agreement.
NSCN(I-M) sources said the final Naga peace agreement is likely to be delayed as the government is unlikely to insist on the October 31 deadline for signing of the final accord. But it could not be independently verified.
RN Ravi is, meanwhile, scheduled to hold yet another round of meeting with the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG).
Sources said the negotiations today lasted for a couple of hours that saw the Centre and the Naga group remaining steadfast in their respective stand. The deadlock is over the demand for a separate Naga flag and a constitution, which the Centre has rejected.
According to Naga sources, in today�s talks, both the sides agreed to work out a �meeting point� and decided to continue the talk daily till the �meeting point� is reached. The NSCN(I-M) will continue to have another round of peace talks tomorrow, sources said.
�Against the much talked about deadline, the two parties of the Indo-Naga political talks have agreed to continue talks on daily basis in order to work out a meeting point,� said sources in the NSCN(I-M).
The sources also claimed that presumably the hype of October 31 as the deadline �may become outdated�, as the Government of India will know very well that solution with one group confined to one state will not solve the seven- decade-old Naga political issue.
The NSCN(I-M) has already suffered a setback with a top leader of the outfit along with 16 other members quitting the rebel group, accusing it of being �insensitive� to the people�s plea for an honourable solution to the vexed issue, and joining the rival NNPG.
In a statement issued on Friday, Hukavi Yeputhomi said the working committee of the NNPG has been �practical and realistic� in its negotiation with the Centre.
He asserted that the geopolitical situation demands that the Nagas be more pragmatic at this juncture.
RN Ravi last week said that the NSCN(I-M) has adopted a �procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and constitution on which it was fully aware of the Government of India�s position.�
The framework agreement, signed on August 3, 2015 by NSCN(I-M) and interlocutor Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had come after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years.
The NSCN(I-M) apart, NNPG has also been holding separate talks with the Centre since 2017 and are willing to settle the vexed issue without insisting on a separate flag and constitution.