In a major development that will contribute to the smooth conduct of the February 27 elections in Nagaland, the influential Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) has decided to “relax” their poll boycott decision.
“In faith, the Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) and the MHA, the ENPO relaxes the August 26, 2022 resolution in the interest of free and peaceful conduct of election in the state,” an ENPO statement said on February 4.
It also requested all “citizens to cooperate with the government in the conduct of the election and not create any law and order problem within ENPO jurisdiction”.
The statement comes two days after a delegation of ENPO leaders met Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on February 2.
“The assurance was that a solution as was mutually agreed will be reached after following the due process and will be implemented after the completion of the election process,” the ENPO statement said.
Nagaland goes to polls on February 27 along with Meghalaya, while in Tripura, voting will take place on February 16.
The Eastern Nagaland poll boycott move created anxious moments regarding the smooth conduct of elections in Nagaland. There are 20 seats in Eastern Nagaland comprising six districts of Tuensang, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Longleng and Shamatore.
The seven tribes from the region – Konyaks, Sangtams, Changs, Phoms, Khiamniungans, Yimchungrus and Tikhirs had, in December 2022, stayed away from the state government-sponsored annual tourism extravaganza of Hornbill Festival hosted in the state capital Kohima.
On January 31, news surfaced quoting unnamed sources that the two-day-long marathon rounds of closed-door conclaves between ENPO leaders and the representatives of the Govt of India headed by A K Mishra in Guwahati, that the centre has agreed to give an ‘autonomous council’ to the region.
“It was a good meeting that ended on a positive note but nothing can be given or shared in writing as there is a moral code of conduct vis-a-via February 27 assembly elections,” an informed source had said on January 31 late evening.
The offer from the centre is for an autonomous council with a possible legislature, and the new proposed body could be called the ‘Frontier Nagaland Autonomous Council’.