Updated: January 22, 2018 11:34:47 pm
Even as political activity picked up pace, mass-based civil organisations and tribal Hohos on Monday came together under the banner of the Nagaland Joint Christian Forum to deliberate on the prevailing socio-political situation in Nagaland and constitute a coordination committee on the issue of ‘solution before election.’ In the run up to the Election Commission notifying the date for Nagaland State Assembly elections, civil societies, Naga national political groups (insurgent outfits), the Naga Students’ Federation and the church leaders had been urging the Centre to postpone the polls till the protracted Indo-Naga political issue is settled. The Nagaland State Assembly too had adopted a resolution calling for ‘solution before election.’
It was learnt that the standing committee would have representatives of the Naga Hoho, the Nagaland Tribal Council, the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) and the Nagaland Gaon Buras (village heads) Federation. The committee will convene its first meeting with the political parties, tribal and civil organisations on January 25.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, NTC secretary Theja Therieh informed that the consensus in the house was that “election should not take place.” He added that no decision was arrived at today, and that today’s meeting was more to bring the civil societies on one platform. Asked whether there would be boycott of the February 27 polls, he reiterated that boycott is not being considered as of yet. “We are not anti-India or anti-constitutional process. But once election is allowed to proceed it will revive hostilities, polarise the (insurgent) groups, and that would have negative impact on political negotiations.”
Therieh informed that the issue would be taken up with the political parties and legislators who themselves had sounded the ‘solution before election’ call and voiced hoped that “good sense would prevail.”
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President of Nagaland Joint Christian Forum Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho in a statement remarked that the role of the church is to work for free and fair election and build up a society that will honor God. Stating that while solution and state election lie outside the perimeter of the church, it is also the responsibility of the church “to bring our people together in a house that is divided and build mutual trust among our people.”
Meanwhile the apex Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has affirmed that it would go forward with the proposed state-wide mass rally scheduled for Tuesday. The NSF too has taken a firm stand against elections before solution and the rally is being organised to press the government of India to formulate a solution to the Naga political issue before Nagaland’s assembly elections.
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