January 30, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Guwahati: As per the media reports the representatives of 11 political parties in Nagaland, including the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), ally BJP and Opposition Congress, on Monday expressed solidarity with civil society groups and Naga tribal Hohos’ call for a solution to the Naga issue before the elections, and announced a unanimous decision not to contest the Assembly polls scheduled for February 27.
Following the call for polls boycott Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju reportedly said both the Centre and the BJP will ensure that elections are held on time.
In a backlash against the call for poll boycott the ‘pro-hindutva’ BJP suspended state leaders Tsasepi Sangtam and Kheto Sema, who had represented the party at the meeting and signed the “no-election” joint declaration by 11 parties, stating that they were not authorised to sign or speak without directives of the party’s central leadership.
“They are suspended immediately from the primary and active party membership; whatever they have signed is without the directives of the central leaders and so must be not considered as authentic and from the party,” the BJP reportedly said in a release.
It is said that the all-parties decision to boycott the polls was followed with an appeal made by the Nagaland based Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations (CCNTHCO). In this appeal it asked the political parties to abstain from participating in the state assembly elections till New Delhi reaches a final solution to Naga issue. It issued the call for “Solution before Election”.
Nagaland Assembly had first demanded putting the election on hold. On December 14 last year, the Assembly had adopted a resolution asking the Centre to take “emergent and extraordinary steps” for an “honourable and acceptable solution” to the Naga political issue first, media reports said.
“We firmly believe that it is expedient for all political parties, both national and regional, to come together in the greater interest of the state… and defer the elections… and allow the Naga political process to reach its logical conclusion by giving space and time to the negotiating groups to bring out an early solution,” reads the quote from the joint statement published in an English daily.
Furthermore, it was reported by the media sources that representatives of different parties have “decided not to go ahead with the issuance of party tickets or filing of nominations… in compliance with the wishes of the people.”
Apparently, among those who signed the declaration are I Imkong, former state Congress president; Kheto Sema, state executive member, BJP; Apong Pongener, working president, NPF; Alemtemshi Jamir, working president, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party; and S Longkumer of Aam Aadmi Party, notes Indian Express (IE).
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