Defence Minister George Fernandes has expressed hope that the decades-old Naga problem would be solved amicably.
Addressing an election rally of the Nagaland People's Front, an ally of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN), Fernandes lauded Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for holding peace talks with the NSCN(I-M) eaders in an effort to resolve the vexed problem.
Dan, comprising Nagaland People's Front, Samata Party, JD(U), NCP and BJP, is fighting against the ruling Congress in the February-26 Assembly poll.
The Defence Minister, while praising the Naga soldiers for displaying valour and courage during the Kargil conflict, said corruption should be weeded out from the society for the development of youth and children.
NCP General Secretary PA Sangma regretted chief minister SC Jamir's strong opposition to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee request to him (Sangma) to play the role of a negotiator between the Centre and NSCN(I-M)to expedite the peace process.
Sangma said there were some people in Nagaland who did not want peace in the state and stood as obstruction in the on-going peace process.
President of Arunachal Congress and former Chief Minister Gegong Apang insisted on strengthening Dan so that the alliance could dethrone the ruling Congress.