Stay indoors and abstain from voting, ENPO rebuts ENLU’s appeal

Tuensang, April 17 (MExN):  A day after Eastern Nagaland legislators “fervently” the general public of Eastern Nagaland to participate in the 18th Lok Sabha general election scheduled in the State on April 19, the ENPO countered the same with a “sincerest appeal” to the ENLU to “remain indoor” and abstain from voting. 

“We firmly believe that our elected members choosing to remain indoors by honouring the decision of the citizen of EN (Eastern Nagaland) and abstain from voting will prevent any untoward incidents,” the ENPO stated. 

“However, there may be public commotion if you decide to go and cast your vote,” cautioned the appeal appended by 32 members of the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) led by its President R Tsapikiu Sangtam and General Secretary Manlang Phom. 

The appeal letter to the Eastern Nagaland Legislators Union (ENLU) members, by the ENPO on behalf of the entire people of Eastern Nagaland, stated that  the region has recently witnessed a significant decision made by the citizen regarding their participation in the upcoming election. 

“In a unified display of discontent and frustration towards the government's failure to fulfill its promises prior to the announcement of the election model code of conduct, our people have chosen to abstain from participating in the electoral process,” it reminded. 

The ENPO stated that the decision must not be taken  lightly as it represents the “collective voice of our community, echoing our shared grievances and concerns regarding the neglect and disregard shown towards our region's welfare and aspirations by the successive governments.”

It is a poignant reminder to address and resolve the longstanding issues with urgency, it added. Accordingly, it urged ENLU to respect and honour the decision of the citizen of Eastern Nagaland.

While acknowledging that as elected representatives, the ENLU duty is to serve the interests of “your people,” the ENPO also ‘implored’ the members recognise the broader significance of this decision beyond individual political affiliations. 

By honouring the people's decision, ENLU would not only demonstrate solidarity with the aspirations of the citizen of Eastern Nagaland but also reaffirm its commitment to the principles of of democracy and popular sovereignty, it maintained.

The ENPO, Tribal Bodies, ENWO and ENSF had already assured to protect any citizen of Eastern Nagaland, including elected members and government employees, “facing repercussions” for abiding by the “public decision” for voluntary abstention from voting in the upcoming Lok Sabha Election, it added. 

“We believe that by standing united in our resolve, we can send a powerful message to the outside world about the strength of our community and our unwavering determination to secure a better future for ourselves and generations to come,” the ENPO maintained. 

Accordingly, stating that its intention is to avoid any misunderstandings or unnecessary confrontations on polling day, it requested the ENLU members to remain indoors and refrain from voting.