Naga Hoho boycotts Nagaland Assembly elections, demands solution to insurgency

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    Kohima, Jan 22: The upcoming Nagaland Assembly elections are already in the midst of controversy. The elections for 60-member Assembly in the hill state are scheduled on February 27.

    The other two northeastern states--Tripura and Meghalaya--are also voting on February 18 and February 27 respectively.

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    Reports say that the all-powerful tribal body, Naga Hoho, has decided to boycott the polls. Instead the group has demanded a solution to insurgency in the northeastern state.

    The Naga Hoho said it will not allow the upcoming Assembly elections in the state, stated a recent report by The Nagaland Post. In fact, the group sought a "solution before election"--demanding an end to the seven-decade-old insurgency in the state and fixing of the vexed Naga political issue.

    "The stand of the organisation is not to allow the election," Naga Hoho President P Chuba Ozukum told The Indian Express. "Now all civil societies, tribes, political parties and the Naga national workers [insurgent groups] want a solution before the elections."

    Ozukum urged political leaders to not file nominations for the elections. He said all Nagas are united on the issue this time: "This time it is different from 1998. This time Nagas are one."

    In 2015, the Centre and NSCN (IM) signed a Framework Agreement to end insurgency in the state. The details of agreement have never been released.

    The Nagaland Assembly had asked the Centre to find a solution to end the crisis before the elections in December last year. A few days ago, various organisations in the state urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to defer the Assembly elections.

    Reports say there is a fear of poll process being disrupted with tribal organisations and civil societies seeking a solution to the decades-old Naga political issue before the elections.

    When the question was raised to Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha at a press meet recently, he said the term of the present assembly is coming to an end and the schedule was announced as mandated by the Constitution of India.

    He appealed to all sections of the society to cooperate with the election officers for the successful completion of the poll process. The election department in Nagaland is taking adequate measures to ensure free and fair polls on February 27, Sinha said.

    Nagaland Assembly
    Party 2013 Current Standing  
    NPF 38 45 Election Date : Feb 27 2018
    Counting : Mar 03 2018
    IND 08 08
    CONG 08 00
    NCP 04 01
    BJP 01 04
    JDU 01 01
    OTHERS 00 00
    Total 60 59 (1 Vacant)

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