Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said his government is keen to have dialogue with various insurgent groups in the state with involvement of the Centre to find a political solution and bring peace.
With over 30 different armed groups operating in the state, Singh told PTI that the idea would be to have talks under one umbrella and his party is willing to give up power if a long-lasting solution could be found. "We want dialogue with those who have taken up arms... A peaceful solution is very much needed," he said.
Elaborating his thoughts on the matter, he said: "I'd like the involvement of the Centre and the prime minister for a joint appeal to the insurgent groups for talks. The state government will do all the necessary work on the ground to take it forward."
Singh further said the state government will initiate efforts for talks with the insurgent groups through civil society bodies and senior citizens groups in order to bring them to the negotiating table for a political solution. "We have already initiated steps towards this direction," he added.
Asked if his party legislators will be ready to give up power, just as their counterparts in Nagaland had pledged in order to enable NSCN (IM) leadership to get into the political mainstream, Singh replied in the affirmative.
"We are ready. If they (insurgents) agree, we are willing to give up. Once the talks take place under an umbrella, whatever the development is, if this is going to bring peace to the state, I am wiling to give up power," he asserted.
Manipur has a long history of insurgency with banned outfits, including People's Liberation Army (PLA), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) active in the valley.
On the other hand, outfits such as Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), Kuki National Army (KNA), NSCN (K) and Manipur Naga Revolutionary Front (MNRF), among others, operate in the hills of the state. The Centre had signed a Framework Agreement with NSCN(IM) in August 2015 to find a solution to the longest running insurgency in India, although it is yet to yield a final outcome.