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Prakash Pillai (HindustanTimes.com), PTI
New Delhi, February 19, 2003
The Naga peace talks and the positive postures adopted by the NSCN leaders T Muivah and Issak Su has and the Centre have infused a new ray of hope in this insurgency hit state. There is a new enthusiasm among the locals here and lot of talk about peace has raised expectations among the locals.

Congress leader and Chief Minister SC Jamir, a veteran politician will find the opposition a lot more tougher than in the past years owing to the enthusiasm over the peace talks and efforts of top leaders to put up a joint front against him. The opposition has joined hands to put up a united front against the Congress in the state.

During the 1998 assembly elections Mr Jamir of the Congress led the party to a comprehensive victory bagging 56 out of the total number of 60 seats. However, observers does not give much weightage to the last election results as most political parties kept themselves out of the electoral process in wake of a boycott-call given by the militant outfits.

A National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP has been formed to take on Jamir. The alliance was forged in the presence of NDA coordinator George Fernandes and BJP president Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi.

The NDA is also said to have the tactical support the NSCN (I-M). The NSCN (I-M), unlike the previous elections have more or less agreed not to participate in the elections and also not to interfere with the process. Observers is seeing this is seen as a positive sign in response to the Centre's peace initiative.