Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday said that his party was giving priority to the Naga solution than the state Assembly elections that are due next year, reported The Times of India.

While inaugurating the Loyem Memorial Astro Turf Ground in Tuensang, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party leader said that the government of India has accepted the uniqueness of the Nagas and the traditions of the Nagas were left untouched even during the British colonial rule, reported the Eastern Mirror.

For over six decades, Naga nationalists have fought the Indian state for a sovereign ethnic homeland that would include Nagaland as well as the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar across the border. Over the decades, the Naga armed movement split into several factions.

Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been vehemently opposing the idea of unification of Naga-inhabited areas under their jurisdictions.

In September, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isaac-Muivah faction), one of the largest Nagaland armed groups, agreed to resume peace talks with the Centre based on a framework agreement signed on August 3, 2015.

The agreement came after more than 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, PTI reported.

However, a final settlement to the issue has been prolonged as the NSCN (IM) has been insisting on a separate Naga flag and constitution, a demand rejected by the Central government.

Rio’s comment on Saturday came days after he sought President Droupadi Murmu’s support to resolve the Naga political issue.

During a civic reception hosted by the state on November 2, Rio had informed Murmu that the framework agreement of 2015 signed between the Centre and NSCN-IM, and the Agreed Position signed in November 2017 with the Naga National Political Groups has recognised the unique history and position of the Nagas, reported East Mojo.

“Ceasefire and dialogue with the Naga political groups have been continuing for 26 years,” Rio had said. “We seek your gracious support in resolving the long-pending political issue.”

Earlier this year, the Centre extended the ceasefire agreements between with the three Naga groups by a year. The pacts are signed with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-NK, National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Reformation and National Socialist Council of Nagaland K-Khango.