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BJP backs ENPO but with strings

Kohima, Dec. 14: The state BJP today said it would support the demand of Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) for a separate state but only under constitutional means.

The statement comes after BJP president Nitin Gadkari visited Tuensang and Mon today and heard the grievances of the people.

Though Gadkari did not assure anything, state party president M. Chuba said when Bengalis and Tamils could have two states like West Bengal and Tripura and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Nagas can also have smaller states.

Gadkari, who landed in Dimapur from a special chartered plane around 9.30am, later flew to Tuensang and Mon by a chopper, where he addressed the public and held consultations with ENPO members before returning to Delhi. During the meeting, the ENPO requested the BJP president to raise the issue in Parliament. “Our president came to see the condition of our people in eastern Nagaland,” Chuba said.

The ENPO has been demanding a separate Frontier Nagaland state. The organisation has influence in four districts — Mon, Kiphire, Tuensang and Longleng. He said though they had not decided whether to support ENPO’s demand, they wanted to address the problems of people in backward areas. Chuba said if the BJP was voted to power in the state, it would support ENPO’s demand but under constitutional means. The state president said it recognised the “unique background and separate entity” of eastern Nagas. The party has been concentrating in ENPO areas for the past few months questioning the silence of the ruling Naga People’s Front and the Opposition Congress over the ENPO issue.


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