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Nagaland: After Lok Sabha poll boycott, ENPO to ‘abstain’ from ULB elections

First Published: 30th April, 2024 14:19 IST

The ENPO has reaffirmed that people in Eastern Nagaland will not participate in any elections until their demand for creation of a Frontier Nagaland Territory (FNT) becomes a reality.

The Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) has decided to abstain from participating in the upcoming Nagaland Urban and Local Bodies elections slated to be held on June 26. ENPO, the apex body of seven Naga tribes, had boycotted the Lok Sabha Elections this time.

The ENPO in a statement said that the people of Eastern Nagaland has reaffirmed the Chenmoho Resolution adopted on February 23 this year which says that “Citizens of Eastern Nagaland shall not participate in any Central and State Elections against the failure to settle the Government of India’s offer for creation of Frontier Nagaland Territory (FNT) through the Ministry of Home Affairs.”

Not only this, the ENPO has also mentioned about it’s “abstention to partake in any Central or State celebrations/events until such time, Frontier Nagaland Territory becomes a tangible reality.”

On April 19, Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio had said the government will do it’s bit, when he was asked whether the abstinence of the people from Eastern Nagaland will affect the negotiations over the demand for creation of FNT.

“Their activities whatever they are doing, they know the best. But the Government of India and also as the state we will take appropriate action and you are aware that the Election Commission had issued show cause notice to them and other who are trying to prevent voting. Because it is the right of every citizen to give vote and participating in the election process in the democracy,” CM Rio had said.

A day before the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, the ENPO had called for an indefinite shutdown in entire Eastern Nagaland. However, on April 20, the ENPO had lifted it’s indefinite shutdown.

Thereafter, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Nagaland issued a show cause notice to the president of ENPO asking him why action should not be initiated against the organisation under relevant sections of the law.

In response, the ENPO had conveyed to the Nagaland CEO that the decision was taken to minimize the possibilities of disturbances in the region and associated risks linked with gathering of anti-social elements. The ENPO further said in it’s reply that the decision to abstain from voting was a voluntary decision taken by the people.

Almost zero voter turnout for the Lok Sabha elections was recorded on April 19 in the 6 districts- Kiphire, Longleng, Mon, Noklak, Shamator, and Tuensang of Eastern Nagaland following the indefinite total shutdown.

Worth mentioning that the ENPO on April 1 had sent a representation to the ECI specifically mentioning that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had “offered and assured” to settle the issue before the announcement of the Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha Election 2024, as notified by the ECI.

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