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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Nagaland: 4 lakh abstain from voting over delay in creation of Naga autonomous region

The proposed Frontier Nagaland Territory will be an autonomous region within the state. The MHA had on December 7 “assured” the ENPO that the FNT issue would be “settled before the announcement of the MCC (model code of conduct) to the Lok Sabha 2024 by the Election Commission of India”

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 20.04.24, 12:54 PM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Nearly four lakh voters from Eastern Nagaland abstained from exercising their franchise on Friday in protest against the “delay” by the Centre in formalising the creation of Frontier Nagaland Territory.

There are 399912 voters in the six districts — Mon, Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire, Noklak and Shamator — under Eastern Nagaland, sending 20 of the 60 MLAs to the state Assembly.

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The official voter turnout figure released by the CEO’s office was 56 per cent but showed zero turnout against the six districts.

The highest turnout was recorded in the Wokha district (95.86 per cent) and the lowest in Kohima (64.17 per cent).

Nagaland has one Lok Sabha seat covering 16 districts and the total voter count is 13.25 lakh.

The “indefinite total shutdown” called from 6 pm on Thursday by the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO), the apex body of seven tribes from the six districts, was “successful and peaceful”.

ENPO president RT Sangtam told The Telegraph, “We are very happy with the people’s response. There was 100 per cent nil (zero) voting in the 20 constituencies. Not a single person came out to vote.”

He further said the people of eastern Nagaland over the FNT issue have registered their protest and they are looking forward with engaging with the incoming government.

The ENPO had on April 1 apprised the Election Commission about the “collective” decision of the people of Eastern Nagaland to “abstain” from the polls over the FNT issue.

People from the region had on February 23 adopted the Chenmoho Resolution “not to participate in any Central and state election and all citizens of Eastern Nagaland shall refrain from casting (their) vote”.

Chenmoho is a village in the Mon district.

The proposed FNT will be an autonomous region within the state. The MHA had on December 7 “assured” the ENPO that the FNT issue would be “settled before the announcement of the MCC (model code of conduct) to the Lok Sabha 2024 by the Election Commission of India”.

Election was declared on March 16.

Sangtam said even after three months, no step was taken by the government on the FNT issue.

“The state government did not say yes or no to the Central government proposal on the FNT but we will reengage with the incoming government,” he said.

There are three candidates in the fray from the lone seat– Dr Chumben Murry from the ruling NDPP, Nagaland PCC president S Supongmeren Jamir and Independent Hayithung Tungoe. Murry had replaced sitting MP Tokheho Yepthomi.

EC show cause

Nagaland CEO Vyasan R. issued a showcause to the ENPO over the shutdown notice on Thursday seeking an immediate response.

The show cause stated that the ENPO public notice “attempts to use undue influence at elections by interfering with the free exercise of those residing in Eastern Nagaland Areas to vote” in the election on Friday.

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