ENPO resolves to boycott elections 

Gadkari’s tall promise returns to haunt NDPP-BJP alliance  

Morung Express News
Dimapur | August 27

The stakes have increased in the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation’s (ENPO) demand for a ‘Frontier Nagaland’ state carved out of present Nagaland state. It adopted a resolution declaring to boycott elections if its demand for a separate state is not fulfilled. It includes the Parliamentary elections as well as the state Assembly elections. 

The decision, which was adopted at a consultative meeting held in Dimapur on August 26, went public only on August 27. The ENPO is a joint forum comprising the Chang Khulei Setshang (CKS), Khiamniungan Tribal Council (KTC), Konyak Union (KU), Phom Peoples' Council (PPC), United Sangtam Likhum Pumji (USLP), Tikhir Tribal Council (TTC) and Yimkhiung Tribal Council (YTC). 

In the electoral equation, eastern Nagaland — covering the districts where the Chang, Konyak, Khiamniungan, Phom, Sangtam, Yimkhiung and the recently recognized Tikhir are dominant — have 20 seats in the state Legislative Assembly.

Currently, excluding an Independent now serving as Deputy Speaker, 19 legislators are party to the Neiphiu Rio-led United Democratic Alliance government. 15 out of the 19 legislators are NDPP and the other 4 are BJP. 

ENPO President, R Tsapikiu Sangtam was asked by The Morung Express whether the 20 legislators were taken into confidence before arriving at the decision. He responded that by virtue of being the representatives of the people, the legislators should be supportive. “It is the sentiment of the people, an outburst of the people’s wish,” he said. 

He added that the legislators have been informed of the decision but the ENPO was still to sit down with them. “We’ll be sitting with them in a couple of days,” he said. 

Some ten years ago, the Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, who was BJP National General Secretary at the time, had addressed a public rally in Mon during which he assured of gifting a separate state or Frontier Nagaland as desired by the people of eastern Nagaland, if the BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.