Naga body sticks to 'Frontier Nagaland Territory' demand ahead of LS polls

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Kohima, April 1 (IANS) The Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organisation (ENPO), which has been demanding a separate administration or state comprising six Nagaland districts since 2010, on Monday informed the Election Commission of India (ECI) that it will boycott the April 19 elections to the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state unless their demands are met.

In a joint letter sent to the Chief Election Commissioner (Rajiv Kumar), the ENPO and its seven sister organisations said that they had resolved on March 19 that unless the separate state demand was met by the Centre, they would not participate in any Lok Sabha or state-level elections.

“We regretfully inform you of the Eastern Nagaland people's collective decision to abstain from participating in this election. We humbly and respectfully beg to inform you that the people of Eastern Nagaland under the aegis of ENPO reaffirmed and resolved not to participate in any elections against the failure to settle the creation of the Frontier Nagaland Territory as offered and assured by the MHA on December 7, 2023,” the letter read.

On Saturday, the Nagaland government appealed to the ENPO not to boycott the April 19 elections in the state.

On March 28, after holding a closed-door meeting with the 20 MLAs of the ENLU and various other organisations in Tuensang, the ENPO leaders had reiterated their call to boycott the April 19 Lok Sabha elections in the state.

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 20 legislators represent the Assembly constituencies covering Eastern Nagaland comprising six districts -- Kiphire, Longleng, Mon, Noklak, Shamator and Tuensang, where seven backward tribes -- Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Phom, Tikhir, Sangtam and Yimkhiung -- reside.