Naga body withdraws Feb 27 Nagaland polls boycott call

Enewstime News Images

Kohima, Feb 04, 2023, IANS

The influential Naga body Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) on Saturday withdrew its call to boycott the February 27 Assembly polls.

The boycott call was withdrawn after the ENPO received an assurance from the Central government regarding its demand for a separate 'Frontier Nagaland' state.

ENPO secretary W. Manwang Konyak told IANS that the organisation has withdrawn the boycott call after getting an assurance from the Central government that its separate 'Frontier Nagaland' state demand would be considered.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed his happiness over the ENPO's decision to withdraw the boycott call.

He tweeted: "I am grateful for their positive gesture reaffirming ENPO's commitment to democratic processes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made untiring efforts to assure the people of northeast that the government is with them and the ENPO's move is an approval of these endeavours."

"It is heartening that in an expression of trust in the Modi government, the Eastern Nagaland Peoples Organisation (ENPO) in Nagaland has withdrawn its call to boycott the assembly elections. The decision will help in keeping the ongoing process of peace & development unhindered," Shah said in a separate tweet.

In January, the Eastern Nagaland Legislators' Union (ENLU), comprising Ministers, MLAs and Advisors to various departments, announced that it has decided to participate in the elections.

Immediately, after the announcement of the schedule of assembly polls in three northeastern states by the Election Commission, the influential Konyak Union also had rejected the state government's appeal, and reiterated to boycott the February 27 elections until the Central government grants the demand for a separate 'Frontier Nagaland' state.

Claiming that the six districts -- Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire, Longleng, Noklak and Shamator -- have been neglected for years, the ENPO has been demanding a separate state since 2010.

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) government, led by the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party and including the BJP, had on a number of occasions asked the ENPO to reconsider their demand for a separate state and not to boycott the Assembly elections.