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Eastern Nagaland's apex tribal organisation to abstain from state polls

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Eastern Nagalands apex tribal organisation to abstain from state polls
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Guwahati: In protest at the Centre's refusal to grant the demand for the establishment of "Frontier Nagaland" state, a tribal organisation in Nagaland has chosen to boycott the upcoming state elections.

The influential Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO), the top tribal group in eastern Nagaland, which includes six of the state's 16 districts, made the choice.

The state's political parties have already started up their campaigning for the elections, which are scheduled for early in 2019.

"Seven tribal bodies, talk team and frontal organisations…resolved not to participate in any election process of the state and the Centre until and unless the Frontier Nagaland state is created as demanded by the people of eastern Nagaland…" the ENPO said in a statement.

The six districts that make up eastern Nagaland—Tuensang, Mon, Longleng, Kiphire, Noklak, and Shamator—combine for 20 of the state's 60 Assembly members. The six districts in question must be removed from Nagaland in order to create a Frontier Nagaland state, according to the indigenous organisations, the NIE reported.

When the area was a part of the North-East Frontier Agency, the entire area was known as Tuensang. In 1957, it was added to the Naga Hills district, and in 1963 when Nagaland became a state, it was absorbed into the state.

The area has been "underdeveloped" and "backward" for a long time, and the inhabitants think the only way to secure progress here is to create a separate state.

Following "public rallies" held on August 9 in each of the six districts to support the Frontier Nagaland state demand, the ENPO decided to boycott the elections.

It sent a memo to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in October of last year asking them to meet the demand quickly.

A controversial proposal of the rebel group NSCN-IM is the construction of a unified Naga homeland by carving off the Naga-inhabited districts of Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh and uniting them with Nagaland, while the ENPO is calling for the creation of a state inside a state. There is a sizable Naga community in each of these states.


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TAGS:State electionsNagaland
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