The decision of the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) to boycott the 2023 Assembly polls in the state is being seen as a not so welcoming move, a move only to mount pressure for its demand of a separate statehood ‘Frontier Nagaland’ to the Central and State governments.
Reacting to the decision of the ENPO, the Naga People Front (NPF) – the oldest regional party in the Northeast region – said the party would not like to dwell much on the demand of the ENPO. However, the stand of the party is that the Nagas have a common vision of having a homeland and a nation of their own, and it does not subscribe to a piecemeal solution.
NPF Secretary General Achumbemo Kikon said, “…we all are having a collective opinion to find an amicable, honourable, acceptable and inclusive solution. So therefore, as far as the stand of NPF is concerned, we have to think on that line instead of looking for a piecemeal solution on factional based or area based; it has to be a solution that encompasses the entire Naga family, this is where we stand. We don’t want to dwell much on the stand taken by the ENPO.”
The Eastern Nagaland holds a majority of total 20 seats out of the 60 Assembly constituencies in the state. If the 2023 elections are boycotted at all then this move would be a major stumbling block for all the political parties intending to participate in the election.
Furthermore, Kikon was of the view that since there is still a six-month time period for the 2023 assembly polls and the issue is being raised by ENPO now, the competent authority has sufficient time to address the issue. He, however, reiterated the stand of the party that in no way does it encourage a piecemeal solution to the Naga issue.
“There are 20 seats in the ENPO area but the issue is that since we still have six months to go for the polls if we are to face the election some time in February. So, we still have time; let us see what unfolds in this coming five, six months. It will be too early to comment if the 20 seats will be boycott, whether the election will be held, whether it will be appropriate for us to go for election. Time will tell us as and when we approach the election,” Kikon stated.
He added, since NPF is a political party registered under the National Commission of India, the party is duty bound to participate as and when the election is announced.
“As a political party every day is a preparation for us to face the election. If election is held on time, we are preparing,” he added.