Tribal Naga group urges Election Commission to defer Nagaland Assembly polls

Kohima: The Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations (CCNTCHOC) on Saturday appealed to the Election Commission (EC) to defer 27 February assembly elections in favour of early solution to the protracted Naga insurgency.

"The opportunity for a peaceful resolution of the Naga political issue has never been this favourable as the political negotiations are in advance stage and we cannot effort to distract the focus on the process at any cost," the Core Committee said in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat.

 Tribal Naga group urges Election Commission to defer Nagaland Assembly polls

Representational image. AFP

Noting in the letter that prime minister Narendra Modi was very determined to resolve the Naga issue, the Committee said that the Indian government's interlocutor RN Ravi, along with the Naga negotiating teams, were also working hard and were committed to conclude the talks soon.

In fact, the separatist National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Muivah (Issac-Muivah), which had signed the Framework Agreement to end Naga insurgency in August 2015 with the central government, had claimed that the decision to hold elections was bound to undermine the progress in the ongoing parleys.

In 2017, the Centre also signed an agreement with a working committee comprising six Naga national political groups.

Several tribal groups, including the combined ruling Naga People's Front-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government, had submitted several memorandum and written appeals to the Election Commission seeking deferment of elections even before the poll dates were announced on 18 January.

"Holding of regular elections can only be stopped by means of a constitutional amendment and in consultation with the Election Commission, and it is recognised that interruptions of regular elections are acceptable only in extra-ordinary circumstances," they stated.

The Core Committee also reminded the Election Commission that Nagaland Assembly had also adopted a resolution urging the Commission not to announce the elections until the Indian government arrived at an honourable and acceptable solution to the Naga issue.

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Updated Date: Jan 28, 2018 10:22:31 IST