NEW DELHI: The Parliament may have turned into a battleground. But when the NDA Government signed a historic peace accord with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) on Monday, whereby the Naga group gave up its decades-old territorial claims in states outside Nagaland, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to the political leaders cutting across party lines.
It took 16 years of negotiation by consecutive governments since Prime Minister Narasimha Rao’s time to find peace with the Naga leaders that may finally end the bloodshed in the northeastern state.
“Sitarambhai, humne shanti sthapana ki prayas kari (We have tried to bring peace),” Modi told CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, while surprising him with a telephone call. A discussion followed.
Yechury was not the only one though.
Modi spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and NCP chief Sharad Pawar among others.
Modi reached out on an issue of importance that he thought necessitated direct communication (with the country’s political leadership), a source said.
The issue, thus, was kept outside the political tug-of-war even when the political climate was hostile.