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People boycott Lok Sabha polls in Eastern Nagaland

First Published: 19th April, 2024 18:11 IST

There was no voting at all in areas under Eastern Nagaland following the indefinite shutdown and “voluntarily abstain” call given by the ENPO.

All attempts to persuade the people in Eastern Nagaland eventually failed today as they chose not to take part in voting for the lone Lok Sabha seat from Nagaland today.

Empty polling booths with no voters and only polling as well as security personnel present in the polling booths was the sight that was seen across polling stations in the six districts of Mon, Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire, Noklak and Shamator which fall in Eastern Nagaland.

The Eastern Naga People’s Organisation (ENPO) had called for a shutdown in areas of Eastern Nagaland and urged the people to voluntarily abstain from exercising their franchise.

When voters in 102 Lok Sabha seats exercised their franchise to elect candidates of their choice, people in Eastern Nagaland seems to have expressed their solidarity with the ENPO be deciding to stay away from voting.

This despite the Eastern legislators made a fresh appeal to the people to not abstain from voting and exercise their franchise as their votes would prove precious in shaping the future. The Eastern Nagaland Legislators Union (ENLU) had also cautioned that abstaining from voting may further complicate things as far as the demand of the eastern Nagaland people are concerned.

The ENPO had also called for an indefinite total shutdown across the Eastern Nagaland with effect from April 18, 6PM.

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.

Taking strong cognizance of the ENPO public notice, calling for an indefinite shutdown, the CEO Nagaland in its show cause notice said, “The above said public notice attempts to use undue influence at elections by interfering with the free exercise of those residing in Eastern Nagaland Areas to vote at the General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2024…”

See below Nagaland CEO notice to ENPO:

The ENPO in it’s response to the show cause notice stated 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.

“Prior to the issuance of the public notice, consultations were held with the Eastern Nagaland people, represented through the office of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO). It is important to note that the shutdown was a voluntary initiative taken by the people of the Eastern Nagaland region,” stated the ENPO.

See below ENPO’s response to Nagaland CEO’s showcause notice-

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.

See below ENPO’s representation to ECI-

In a Joint Consultative Meeting of the ENPO, Federating Tribal Bodies, Frontal Organizations, Talk Team, and senior leaders held on February 23, 2024, at Chenmoho Village, Mon District, it was unanimously resolved “not to participate in any central and state elections” against the alleged delay by the Centre in settling the offer for the creation of Frontier Nagaland Territory.

About 3.99 lakh general electors represent Eastern Nagaland. Till 5 PM, the polling percentage recorded in Nagaland was 55.79%.



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