ENPO’s poll abstention fully justified: TNR

Kohima, April 21 (MExN): The Naga Rising (TNR) today asserted the decision of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) to abstain from the ongoing Lok Sabha election was “fully justified” and saluted the latter for “truthfully standing for their cause.”

To buttress its contention, the TNR noted that people of Eastern Nagaland have been deeply hurt by the manner in which they have been “Deceived by those in power, not just once, but several times.”

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), it claimed, has been making electoral promises to grant “Frontier Nagaland” since the time of Nitin Gadkari as President (2012). 

“Nothing happened even though the BJP-led NDA came to power in 2014 and ruled for two successive terms,” it said.  

Further, it pointed out that the call of the ENPO to abstain from voting is not a new thing and similar position was taken in 2022 for non-participation in the Nagaland Assembly Elections slated in February 2023, owing to the government’s failure to meet their demand. 

The ENPO relented after specific assurances were given by none other than the Union Home Minister and similar promise was made by the Government of India (GoI) in December 2023 to resolve the issue and ink a deal before the model code of conduct, it maintained.

Thus the decision of fully justified, it added. 

Meanwhile, the TNR lauded the ENPO for its resolute stand despite pressure to surrender its position and further applauded the determination of the public of Eastern Nagaland for exercising their “democratic right to protest peacefully.”

This demonstration of unity and sense of purpose is a valuable lesson for the rest of the Nagas, it added. 

The TNR also likened the April 19 stance of the ENPO to May 16, 1951 “when the Nagas successfully conducted a plebiscite that shaped the course of Naga history” through extraordinary act of “unity of purpose.”

“In the past, when the Naga public wanted ‘solution and not election’, they were given assurance by those in power with slogans such as ‘election for solution’. Unfortunately, many surrendered to the seduction of money power and allowed such false promises to triumph,” it reminded. 

“We salute the ENPO for not failing their people and, truthfully standing for their cause and belief,” it added.

The TNR also called for supporting the ENPO and the people of Eastern Nagaland during this difficult and challenging time and stated that taking an honest stand as a “humane and democratic response to the many failed promises,” must be respected. 

To this end, it contended that any attempt to take action against the ENPO and the people of Eastern Nagaland “will be unfair and may only alienate them” and said that other Nagas must reach out to them, while the GoI should regain their trust.

The ENPO also deserves credit, considering the sentiments of Nagas towards unity changing its demand for separate State of Frontier Nagaland to the alternative proposal for Frontier Naga Territory (FNT) ‘without insisting on dividing Nagaland State,’ the TNR said. 

Nagas must acknowledge this sacrifice made by the ENPO for the greater cause of our fraternity and also for its support to help find a permanent solution to the Indo-Naga issue, it noted.

Whatever may be the outcome of the present Lok Sabha elections, efforts must continue towards finding an amicable resolution to the proposed FNT, it maintained. 

The ENPO and eastern Nagaland have shown us the true meaning of unity and the way to stand together for one’s cause. The power of the people has triumphed, it added.