The opposition NPF has slammed Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio for stating that integration of all Naga inhabited areas would not be possible as part of the solution to the Naga peace process.

Rio had made the statement following a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. NPF spokesperson A Kikon said the party rejects the statement of the CM and stands for integration of all Naga-inhabited areas.

The NPF spokesperson also said that at a time when NNPGs are trying hard for a solution, Rio’s statement comes as a hurdle to the peace process. In fact the NPF went on to say that the CM owes an explanation to the Naga people for making such a statement.

NPF MLA, Imkong Imchen meanwhile said that at a time when the Naga peace talks was at a crucial and critical stage, the chief minister should not have made such a remark.

The Chief minister’s office issued a clarification on the entire matter stating that Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had only conveyed what was discussed in the meeting with the Union Home Minister and at no point of time had he declared that integration of Naga-inhabited areas was not possible.

A delegation of elected members and officials of the Nagaland government led by chief minister Neiphiu Rio called on Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday wherein a wide range of issues pertaining to the state was discussed including the Naga political issue and the peace process.

It was conveyed to the delegation that since integration of contiguous Naga inhabited areas would involve neighbouring states, such integration would not be possible unless it is mutually agreed to by the neighbouring states in question.

The release issued by the CM’s office claimed that Rio only relayed to the media what had been discussed in the meeting and it cannot be taken as an admission by the chief minister or the state government in any manner.

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