Lok Sabha Election / Not a single voter voted in 6 districts, demand for separate state raised; Know what the CM said

Zoom News : Apr 20, 2024, 12:15 PM
Lok Sabha Election: Polling personnel in 6 eastern districts of Nagaland waited for 9 hours at polling stations, but after the bandh called by an organization to pressurize the demand for 'Frontier Nagaland Territory' (FNT), 4 lakh voters from the area None of the voters came to vote. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday confirmed that the state government has no problem with the Eastern Nagaland People's Organization (ENPO)'s demand for FNT as it has already recommended autonomous powers for the region. Let us tell you that ENPO is the apex organization of seven tribal organizations of the eastern region. Officials said there was no movement of any person or vehicle on the roads except people and vehicles associated with the district administration and other emergency services.

Polling workers waited for 9 hours

Nagaland Additional Chief Electoral Officer Awa Loring said polling personnel were present from 7 am to 4 pm at 738 polling stations in the region comprising 20 assembly constituencies. Sources in the CEO office said that no one came to vote in these 9 hours. 20 MLAs also did not use their franchise. Of the 13.25 lakh voters in Nagaland, there are 4,00,632 voters in 6 districts of Eastern Nagaland. The chief minister told reporters after casting his vote at his village in Tauphema, about 41 km from the state capital, that he had accepted the 'draft working paper' for the FNT, which was handed over to him in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Even 20 MLAs did not vote

ENPO is demanding a separate state consisting of six districts alleging that previous governments did not bring socio-economic development to the region. However, the Chief Minister said the state government has already recommended an autonomous body so that the region can get an adequate economic package at par with the rest of the state. CM Rio said that “when an autonomous body is created, there should be a proper system with elected members. The state government has nothing to do with it. MLAs and ENPO should sit for talks to work on a common formula. We can talk only after that.'' When asked whether any action would be initiated against the 20 MLAs of Eastern Nagaland for not voting? On this he said, “We do not want conflict.” Let's see what happens.

Bandh announced before elections

Let us tell you that a few hours before the start of Lok Sabha elections in Nagaland, ENPO declared an indefinite complete bandh in the eastern part of the state from 6 pm on Thursday. The organization had also cautioned that if a person goes to vote and any law and order situation arises, the responsibility will be on the voter concerned. Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Wyson R. Terming the bandh as an attempt to exert undue influence during the elections, it issued a 'show cause notice' to ENPO on Thursday night. He said that under sub-section (1) of Section 171C of the Indian Penal Code, "Whoever voluntarily interferes or attempts to interfere with the free exercise of any electoral right commits the offense of exercising undue influence at an election." 

What did the President of ENPO say?

However, ENPO president Tsapikiu Sangtam claimed on Friday that the section does not apply in this context. He said that "the main objective of the public notice (for the bandh) was to reduce the possibility of disturbances in the eastern Nagaland area and to reduce the risk associated with the gathering of anti-social elements, which is within our jurisdiction." He said eastern Nagaland is currently under "public emergency". He claimed that the bandh was a voluntary initiative taken by the people of the area. Sangtam said ENPO had informed the Election Commission on April 1 about the intention of the people of Eastern Nagaland to abstain from participating in the Lok Sabha elections. He said that ENPO has no mechanism to implement its resolutions or orders, it operates on the basis of voluntary participation and consensus among the people of Eastern Nagaland.