Shri L.P. Singh, succeeded the Governor, Shri B.K. Nehru and was sworn in on September 19, 1973 as the Governor, Nagaland. As a former Union Home Secretary, Shri L.P. Singh was conversant with Naga politics and provided to the State a firm administrative direction. Again, the Governor and his office were in the midst of prolonged negotiations to bring peace to the State. A number of meetings took place with the Liaison Committee of the Peace Council at the Raj Bhavans in Shillong and Kohima. The Governor used to be very firm in these meetings and that enhanced the constitutional status of the Governor.
The final discussions were held with the underground representatives on November 10 – 11, 1975 at Durbar Hall of Shillong Raj Bhavan and the Shillong Accord was signed. It brought to an end the hostilities and giving up of arms by the undergrounds.
In his Republic Day speech in 1976, the Governor commended the underground leaders saying, “I would like to say here that it required great courage and it showed great wisdom on the part of those leaders to change their own course out of their own will. They did so in the wider interest of the Naga people for the prosperity of Nagaland and out of recognition that in this great country of India their talents and their capabilities could find fullest expression”. Thus, an era of peace was ushered in the State.
A section of undergrounds who were returning from China when the Accord was signed, and were unaware of the happenings, later on, refused to accept the Accord. They formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) which gained ground in the late eighties and nineties. Efforts to bring these China returned undergrounds to the mainstream, however, continued with safe passage being given at Pangsha in Tuensang district on the border with Myanmar.
The initial phase, till the signing of the Shillong Accord, was dominated by efforts towards bringing peace. The successive Governors made immense contribution to the process. The domination of political issues did not, however, mean that the economic development of the State was not in the mind of the highest seat of power in the Government. Reviewing economic development in the State in his farewell address on the occasion of the Independence Day 1973, the Governor, Shri B.K. Nehru said:
“…..And indeed in the field of economic development, in the field of economic growth, we have taken enormous strides. I will not bore you with figures. When I delivered my last budget address to the Assembly, those of you who followed it, would have seen the fantastic achievements of the Government of Nagaland in economic field. For we have roads, we have schools and we have colleges and we have hospitals and we have dispensaries and we have water and we have grown in agriculture. There is no field of economic activity in which we have not grown very rapidly. And we have made a beginning even in the field of industry which in this remote and cut-off corner of India, nobody dreamed till a few years ago to be established. We already have a sugar factory (since closed) in Dimapur, there is a paper factory coming up at Tuli (Mokokchung district, since closed) which one hopes will soon be completed and the results of the establishment of these factories will add enormously to the economic development for our future lies in the development of our agriculture and our horticulture…..”
Almost all the Governors have left their mark either in the governance or development of the State. Persuasion and using their influence at the Central Government level, guiding the State administrative machinery through numerous informal and formal interactions on the requirements of the State, the Governors have enjoyed a unique position to help in filling up the gaps.
There was a distinct change in the political environment after the Shillong Accord, and the stabilising tenure of the Governor, Shri L.P. Singh. During his tours and visits to the State, the Governor highlighted the need to focus more on economic development. With the settlement of critical issues relating to insurgency and the dawn of peace, the elected Government gradually started discharging its responsibilities towards maintenance of law and order and working for development. Issues, other than insurgency and strife, started coming into focus. Gradually, the Raj Bhavan withdrew to its traditional role.