NSCN(IM) had almost hijacked Nagaland Assembly election in 2003. It did not allow Congress(I) headed by S.C.Jamir even to campaign. Several candidates were kidnapped. NSCN(IM) had supported all the candidates fielded by Democratic Alliance of Nagaland(DAN) of which BJP was also an ally. As a result, S.C.Jamir?the sworn enemy of NSCN(IM) was thrown out and DAN Government headed by Neiphiu Rio and supported by all the seven BJP MLAs was formed. The success of this experiment emboldened NSCN(IM) during those days.
Meiteis of Manipur are greatest hurdle in materialising the game-plan of Muivah. NSCN(IM) is scared of fighting spirit of Meiteis?a very devout Hindu community and most patriotic. Muivah'slieutenants and his shadow organisations like All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM), Baptist Council of Churches of Manipur (MBSC) and United Naga Council (UNC) of Manipur have tested their strength on many occasions to defeat Meiteis. Through these organisations, NSCN(IM) had imposed 52-days-long economic blockade at all the roads and National Highways leading to Manipur only a year before. NSCN(IM) boycotted Manipur Board of School Education (MBSE) and all the students from four hilly districts of Manipur viz. Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong appeared in their Matric examinations from Nagaland under tight security cover provided by Neiphiu Rio?the strong supporter of NSCN(IM). NSCN(IM) was also successful in threatening all the rival candidates to resign during the current Manipur Assembly Election. Only independent candidates supported by NSCN(IM) and UNC candidates?an ally of NSCN (IM) were allowed to campaign in all the four hilly districts of Manipur.
Encouraged by past successes and inaction of Central Government, NSCN(IM) had planned to throw out Congress(I) Government at Imphal headed by Okram Ibobi Singh?another arch-rival of NSCN(IM). This time also, Muivah'smen were moving with sophisticated weapons in support of candidates of United Naga Council (UNC). The shadow organisations of NSCN(IM) in Nagaland like Naga Hoho, Naga Student Federation (NSF), Naga People'sMovement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Nagaland Baptist Council of Churches (NBCC), Naga Mother Association (NMA) and many other political leaders in league with Muivah'sclout supported NSCN(IM)'scandidates fighting the Manipur election either under the banner of UNC or independent.
The Manipur election was a tough test for Election Commission. All the four hilly districts lying in NSCN(IM)'sNaga homeland map have 12 seats. NSCN(IM) was backing United Naga Council (UNC) which fielded 11 candidates. All other candidate were threatened to resign in support of UNC candidates. Independent K.Panmei in Tamengland Constituency withdrew from the pool after NSCN(IM) abducted him.
The final leg of the three-phase elections to the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Friday?the February 23, 2007 was, marked by snatching of EVMs, underground factional clashes, skirmishes among supporters of different candidates, attack on Independent candidates and arrest of terrorists. At least 80 per cent votes were polled in all the 12 Assembly segments of Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Chandel districts and Jiribam sub-divisions of Imphal East district. Eighty-five per cent votes were cast in Tamenglang and Chandel districts while Churachandpur district and Jiribam Assembly seat in Imphal East districts recorded 80 and about 70 per cent voter turnout respectively. The turnouts in all the four hilly districts of Manipur negates the integration demand of NSCN(IM). Rather, it manifests people'smind to ensure the unity and integrity of Manipur. The people are scared of terror-tactics of Muivah'sclout. Naga underground factions NSCN(K) and NSCN(IM) clashed at Mokoinung polling station area. NSCN(K) had announced ban on elections in Tamenglong Assembly segments to check the terrorist doctrine of NSCN(IM) while imposed curfew in Tamenglong constituency during the day. The gun-battle between NSCN(K) and NSCN(IM) at Makoingang polling station forced voters to stay away from the voting. Armed terrorists of NSCN(IM) directed voters to cast their votes for a particular candidate at Tharon polling station under Tamenglong constituency. Unidentified terrorists fired several round of bullets and threw geneades at the house of Ajit Singh, a candidate from Thongju Assembly Constituency. At least four terrorists were arrested by security forces. One NSCN(IM) cadre was nabbed with weapons at Tamenglong. Two Kuki National Front (KNF) and one Kuki National Army (KNA) terrorists were also arrested. The armed terrorists created trouble at Karongthel of Tenghoupal Constituency. The EVM there was totally destroyed. The polling in Tamenglong and Churachandpur was also disturbed by furious mob against complaint and counter complaint of proxy voting and booth capturing.
It was thus, a dangerous game being played where money, and power in league with militancy over-rode the basic concern for human suffering. The people are the victims of political adventurism. The gun-toting elements tried to gain legitimacy under the cover of right to self-determination. And, absolutely corrupt elements within the political and bureaucratic circles helped the terrorists elements.