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ENPO to abstain from Nagaland urban local bodies’ elections too

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Kohima, May 16: The Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO), which has been demanding a separate ‘Frontier Nagaland Territory’ or a separate state comprising the six eastern Nagaland districts, announced that it would also abstain from the Urban Local Body (ULB) elections scheduled on June 26.

The ENPO, which boycotted the election to the lone Nagaland Lok Sabha seat on April 19 in support of its demand, is the apex body of seven tribes from the six eastern districts of Kiphire, Longleng, Mon, Noklak, Shamator, and Tuensang.

ENPO Secretary W. Manwang Konyak on Thursday said that they have already informed the State Election Commission (SEC) that the people of the six districts would abstain from voting in the ULB polls, covering three Municipal Councils and 36 Town Councils.

“The ENPO has in a letter to the SEC informed about the eastern Nagaland people’s collective decision to abstain from participating in the forthcoming ULB elections scheduled on June 26. We did not get any further communication in this regard either from the government or the SEC,” Konyak told IANS.

He said that the ENPO had, on March 19, adopted a unanimous resolution that the people of the region would not participate in any Central and state elections due to the delay in creating the ‘Frontier Nagaland Territory (FNT)’ as offered and assured by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on December 7, 2023.

The ENPO said that the MHA had assured to settle their demand before the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections by the Election Commission.

“Through many letters to MHA and mass rallies, we tried to persuade the Central government to resolve our demand but it turned a deaf ear,” the Naga leader said. However, the ENPO has clarified that this stance should not be misconstrued as opposition to the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2023 with 33 per cent reservation for women.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said on Friday that the state government has proposed the constitution of an autonomous body for the development of eastern Nagaland and its people.

Since 2010, the ENPO has been demanding a separate ‘Frontier Nagaland Territory’ comprising six eastern districts inhabited by seven backward tribes — Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Phom, Tikhir, Sangtam, and Yimkhiung. The ENPO and its allies had given a call to boycott the Assembly elections held in February last year but withdrew it later following an assurance from Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

IANS

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