New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi today slammed the Modi government over the Naga peace accord, accusing it of not taking chief ministers of north eastern states into confidence and said it showed its "arrogance".
Opening another front against the government, Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, who have been protesting against the suspension of 25 Congress MPs from Lok Sabha, charged that the voice of the three states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is being "suppressed".
Talking to reporters in Parliament complex, the Congress President said when she called her party's chief ministers in the three states, who are directly affected by the Naga accord, she found that they were "totally blank" on the issue.
"Nobody has even bothered to brief them, perhaps not in detail, but in a wide sense. After all, our chief ministers are directly affected, be it Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh or Assam. So, what do I take from this? From this I take that this government is arrogant.
"This Government keeps on saying that everybody has to be taken along and that they will hold consultations with all, will take the views of all Chief Ministers. Then what happened? Their arrogance is now even more clear than before. And it is an insult not only to the chief ministers, but to the people of these states and to the federal structure of our country," she said.
Government had on August 3 signed an accord with key outfit NSCN(IM), which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described as a "historic" step to usher in peace in the state.
Rahul noted that what Congress President said was perhaps the most important issue.
"Our voice is being suppressed in Parliament. The Congress President has said that the voice of three states Manipur Assam and Arunachal is being suppressed. It's an insult to the people of these three states that their CMs have not been advised.
"It's an insult to every single citizen in these three states and it's an insult to the people of India the way this government does work," Gandhi said.
The accord was signed following nearly two decades of peace talks. Congress Chief Ministers like Tarun Gogoi of Assam and Nabam Tuki of Arunchal Pradesh had welcomed the accord.
While welcoming the Naga peace deal, Gogoi had expressed astonishment on why "clauses of the agreement had been kept in the dark."
The Congress President said, "We do not know the exact content of the Nagaland accord. So, we cannot express our views yet. The Prime Minister did call some leaders including myself and said we have very good news. The Nagaland issue which is going on for 20 years is now resolved. I said congratulations to you.
"When we then called our chief ministers, who are are directly affected by this and asked them, they were totally blank," Gandhi said.
The Naga pact is the culmination of over 80 rounds of negotiations that spanned 16 years with first breakthrough in 1997 when ceasefire agreement was sealed.
While the National Socialist Council of Nagaland ( Isaac-Muivah) is the biggest Naga rebel group which has been maintaining the ceasefire, another faction led by S S Khaplang continues to indulge in violence and was believed to be behind the deadly attack on army in Manipur in June that left 18 soldiers dead and 18 injured.