Friday, April 12, 2024

Naga body sticks to decision to boycott LS polls in Nagaland


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Kohima, March 29:  The Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO), seeking a separate administration or state comprising six Nagaland districts, is sticking to its decision to boycott the coming Lok Sabha elections to press for its demand.

After holding a marathon closed-door coordination meeting with 20 MLAs and various other organisations in Tuensang on Thursday, the ENPO leaders again on Friday announced they would boycott the April 19 parliamentary elections in the state.

“At the coordination meeting, we have decided to uphold our February 23 decision to boycott the parliamentary polls in protest against the Centre’s failure to create the separate Frontier Naga Territory,” an ENPO spokesman said. Nagaland’s sole Rajya Sabha member S. Phangnon Konyak was also present.

The Eastern Nagaland Legislators’ Union, comprising 20 MLAs, earlier requested the ENPO to reconsider its decision. The legislators represent the Assembly constituencies covering eastern Nagaland comprising the six backward districts — Kiphire, Longleng, Mon, Noklak, Shamator and Tuensang, where seven backward tribes — Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Phom, Tikhir, Sangtam and Yimkhiung — are spread.

The ENPO spokesman said that the ‘public emergency’, which began on March 8 in the eastern part of Nagaland, would continue. During this, the ENPO, the apex body of seven Naga tribes of the region, and its frontal organisations are not allowing any election campaign.

The BJP, which is a part of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party-led United Democratic Alliance government in Nagaland, earlier urged the ENPO to hold dialogue with the government to resolve their demand for a separate state. The ENPO gave a call to boycott last year’s Assembly polls but later withdrew it following an assurance from Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Union Home Ministry, responding to the ENPO’s demand, last year formed a three-member committee, headed by Adviser, Northeast, A.K. Mishra to study their demand, and the panel visited Nagaland several times and talked with all sides. Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio recently said that the state government has already recommended, to the Centre, that an autonomous region be set up for the people belonging to the eastern region.

The ENPO has been demanding a separate state since 2010, claiming that the six districts in the eastern part of Nagaland have been neglected in all aspects for years.




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