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Nagaland Government Appeals ENPO: Do not Boycott Lok Sabha Elections

The Nagaland government on Saturday appealed to the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO), which has been demanding a separate administration or state comprising six Nagaland districts, not to boycott the April 19 elections to the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state.

The ENPO, which has been demanding a separate state since 2010 claiming that the six districts in eastern Nagaland have been neglected for years, had earlier announced a boycott of the Lok Sabha elections to press for its demands.

Officials said on Saturday that the council of ministers of the Nagaland government held a meeting with the Eastern Nagaland Legislative Union (ENLU) members, and discussed ENPO's demands and its ongoing agitations since March 8.

“At the meeting, the ENLU members briefed the state Cabinet on their recent visit to Delhi and the meeting with the ENPO in Tuensang on Thursday. The issue of participation in the parliamentary elections and ensuring the representation of all the voices within the political process was also discussed,” a Nagaland government official told the media.

He said the Cabinet and ENLU members, after thorough deliberations, unanimously decided to extend a sincere appeal to the ENPO, urging it not to abstain from the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, but to participate in the polls and complete the democratic duty for the greater benefit of the region and its constituents.

The meeting further noted that upon the installation of a new government at the Centre, a conducive atmosphere will be created for further negotiations on ENPO's demands, the official said.

Meanwhile, after holding a nine-hour closed-door coordination meeting with the 20 MLAs of the ENLU and various other organisations in Tuensang on Thursday, the ENPO leaders reiterated their call to boycott the April 19 Lok Sabha elections in the state.

An ENPO spokesman also said that the ‘public emergency’, which began on March 8 in the eastern part of Nagaland, would continue.

The BJP, which is a part of the United Democratic Alliance government in Nagaland, had earlier urged the ENPO to hold dialogues with the government to resolve their demand for a separate state.

The ENPO had given a call to boycott last year's Assembly elections, but later withdrew it following an assurance from Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Union Home Ministry formed a three-member committee last year to study ENPO’s demands, and the panel has since visited Nagaland several times and held discussions with all sides.

*Except for the heading, this story has not been edited by The enewstime.in and has been published from IANS feed.

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