Pandey arrives to seek people’s view
Kohima | April 5 : Newly-appointed interlocutor for the Prime Minister for the Indo-Naga peace talks, RS Pandey arrived in Kohima today on a five-day visit to the state. The former chief secretary of Nagaland and former Union Petroleum secretary arrived this afternoon by a special helicopter from Guwahati.
During his stay in Nagaland, he will be meeting representatives from Naga civil society and seek the views of the Naga people. Pandey’s visit is seen as an effort to carry forward the Naga peace process. He will also meet Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, his council of ministers and top state officials and security agencies.
On April 7 he will fly to Mon to attend the state “Road Show” coinciding with the Aoleng festival of the Konyak Nagas and will address the programme as guest of honour. Pandey is credited for introducing the programme of communitization of government departments such as schools, health centers, power, tourism and public health engineering. This visit is Pandey’s second after he relinquished the post of Chief Secretary of Nagaland.
In his first visit he attended the VDB and communitization conference held at Ganeshnagar in Dimapur on November 30 last year. Today, the concept of communitization has brought impressive changes in the system of governance, where power is delegated to the people to govern through village development boards and village councils. Pandey has had close association with the Naga people, having served the state in various capacities.
He has the confidence of the Centre which appointed him to act as an interlocutor and representative of the Government of India to convince Naga leaders to hammer out a solution to a chronic Naga political problem.
The state government remains tightlipped over the visit of Pandey but sources said his visit assumes significance against the backdrop of resuming the Naga talks after almost a year. Sources said the meetings this time will be closed-door.
Pandey’s visit is seen as a new initiative by the Centre to feel the pulse of the people and how to carry forward the peace process for an “honorable and acceptable solution” to both the center and the NSCN (IM). The Centre had taken the initiative and asked its interlocutor to meet the representatives of Naga organizations.