Nagaland political crisis: Rijiju urges parties to contest assembly polls

RSTV Bureau
File photo of MoS Home Kiren Rijiju at Parliament House.  Photo - PTI

File photo of MoS Home Kiren Rijiju at Parliament House.
Photo – PTI

A day after several political parties in Nagaland, including the ruling Naga People’s Front, decided to not contest the February 27 assembly elections, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju urged parities not to dismiss electoral and constitutional processes. He also assured the people of Nagaland that the Centre attached utmost importance to the long pending Naga issue.

The decision to boycott state elections by political parties was taken at a meeting called by the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Organisations and Civil Societies (CCNTOCS), and attended by representatives of 11 parties and 7 Naga Nationalist Political Groups (NNPGs). The parties decided to agree to the demand of tribal bodies and civil society groups to resolve the protracted Naga political problem first.

MoS (Home) Kiren Rijiju, who is also BJP’s election in-charge for Nagaland said that “Holding of timely election is a constitutional process. The central government is bound by the Constitution.”

Rijiju also said that boycotting the polls wasn’t a solution.

The parties that had decided to boycott polls include Naga People’s Front, Congress, BJP, Nationalist Democratic Peoples’ Party, Nagaland Congress, United Nagaland Democratic Party, Aam Admi Party, National Congress Party, Lok Jan Party, Janata Dal (United) and National People’s Party.

“It is the unanimous view of the Naga people that the political solution or Naga peace accord is more important than elections and therefore, it has become imperative that the elections to the legislative assembly of Nagaland be deferred for peace and tranquility,” said a joint declaration signed by the parties had said.

File Photo of newly appointed Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang.

File Photo of newly appointed Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang.

Meanwhile, BJP suspended two leaders who had represented the party at the meeting and signed the “no-election” joint declaration, stating they were not authorised to sign or speak without a directive from the party’s central leadership.

The Core Committee has called for a total shutdown on February 1, when filing of nomination begins.

The Naga Hoho, an apex Naga tribal body, earlier this month sought the prime minister’s help in postponing the elections, saying the vexed issue should be resolved first.

Civil society groups in Nagaland have also launched a campaign ‘Solution before Election’.

(With inputs from agencies)