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ENPO announces abstention from forthcoming ULB elections


DIMAPUR, MAY 14: As Nagaland Government continues to sit on the highlights of draft MoS for Frontier Nagaland Territory (FNT) shared to it by the Centre, the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) on Tuesday announced its decision to abstain from the forthcoming elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULB), in continuation of its protest at the delay.
Addressing a press conference at Dimapur, the President of ENPO, R Taspikiu Sangtam said that they have reaffirmed their commitment to the ‘Chenmoho Resolution’, whereby the ENPO had resolved not to participate in any Central and State elections in protest of the MHA’s failure to settle the creation of FNT before the announcement of Model Code of Conduct to Lok Sabha elections.
“We will not say boycott, but we have decided not to participate (in the ULB elections)”, Sangtam said. He added that the ENPO will write a letter to the ECI informing the same.
When asked, Sangtam clarified that the abstention from participation in ULB polls does not extend to persons belonging to members of the ENPO communities but living in urban centres outside the ENPO areas.
“Our jurisdiction is limited only to ENPO areas”, he said, adding that if those persons want to “voluntarily show their solidarity” by abstaining from the civic polls, “we have no objection”.
Sangtam also reiterated the ENPO’s position that the delay in settling the FNT issue was due to Nagaland Government’s inaction over the draft submitted to it by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“The Centre has done its part; it has given the offer; now it is for the State Government to respond, whether yes or no. We will wait for the State Government to respond”, he said.
The demand for FNT has been whittled down from its original claim for a separate State to Union Territory ~ both rejected by the Centre.
Then Nagaland Government suggested the offer of an Autonomous Council, which was in turn rejected by the ENPO.
According to Sangtam, the ENPO and the Centre have managed to arrive at a “unique arrangement under Article 371 (A)”.
Under this arrangement, he said that the FNT will neither be an Autonomous Council nor fall under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. “It will be lesser than a Union Territory but above Autonomous Council”, he said.
(Page News Service)