Modi overlooked constitution on Naga peace accord: Congress

New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) Accusing the BJP-led central government of signing the Naga peace accord without taking any stakeholder into confidence, the Congress on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi overlooked the constitution in doing so.

The government was keeping the entire nation in the dark on the accord, party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference here attended by the chief ministers of Congress ruled states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ignored the basic principal of cooperative federalism (by signing the accord on his own),” he said.

The Congress leader said Modi did not even consult any of the three senior most chief ministers – Tarun Gogoi of Assam, Nabam Tuki of Arunachal Pradesh and Okram Ibobi Singh of Manipur.

“The government did not consult anybody on the issue, and now its ministers are making false statements that they (Gogoi, Tuki and Ibobi Singh) were called in for a meeting on the issue,” he said, adding that “it’s a blatant lie”.

“The BJP is telling a blatant lie to the country that they invited the Congress chief ministers of northeastern region for consultation before they reached the Naga peace accord,” he said.

“Nobody knows what it (accord) contains… not even his own ministers have any idea about it,” Surjewala said.

It was “unfortunate” and the government must not ignore the constitutional norms and practices in cases like these, he added.

He, however, said the Congress was not against any peace process concerning the region, but it would not allow this to happen without states concerned being taken into confidence.

The Congress leader also accused the central government of not putting something as important as a peace accord before parliament specially when its in session.

The three chief ministers, present at the press conference, said they would like to see the “full text” of the accord before the government finalises it.

The Manipur chief minister said he would fight against the peace accord “tooth and nail”, as it was signed without consulting him and others involved.

Tuki said he welcomes the peace process but it must not disturb his state’s boundaries.

The Congress leaders said by signing the peace accord, the “Modi government has shown complete disregard to the constitutionally elected state governments”.

They also demanded that a copy of the accord be made available to them immediately.

The Naga peace accord, between the central government and the NSCN (IM) was signed on August 3 in the presence of the prime minister.

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