The announcement of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that election in Nagaland is the prerogative of the Election Commission and the same will be held as per schedule has not got down well with the Naga political groups.
In an obvious fallout to Rajnath’s announcement, Naga Hoho, the apex tribal body of the Nagas called for a boycott of the ensuing Assembly elections in the State.
The working committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) has also stated in clear terms that election in Nagaland before an amicable solution to the decades-old vexed Naga issue would have ‘serious ramifications on the ongoing peace process’.
The working committee of the NNPGs has repeatedly expressed hope that the Centre would act ‘positively and create conducive atmosphere for smooth negotiation so as to arrive at an honourable and acceptable solution to the Naga issue’.
The working committee of the NNPGs also warned that holding elections when political negotiation was at an advanced stage would negatively impact pursuit of early solution.
The Home Minister’s announcement came on the heels of his meeting with Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang who had called on Rajnath Singh earlier with a request to postpone the elections and come up with an amicable solution to the vexed Naga issue as desired by one and all in Nagaland in particular and the entire North-east in general.
The Home Minister, it was learnt, had earlier assured Zeliang that he would convene a meeting on the demand of the Naga people and convey the outcome of the meeting to the Nagaland Government.
Zeliang had briefed Rajnath about the ‘desire’ by various civil society organizations and church leaders in Nagaland for a ‘solution before election’.
Meanwhile, the final rolls for the Nagaland Assembly polls have been published consisting of 11,89,264 voters, lower than the electorate size of 11,92,377 in 2013.
Nagaland is going to polls along with the other two poll bound states of the North-east – Meghalaya and Tripura.
Elections to all three states are scheduled to be held in February-March next.
The terms of the present Assemblies in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura will expire on March 6, 13 and 14 respectively. The Legislative Assemblies in all the three states have 60 members each.