Nagaland: No Blackmail To Scuttle ElectionsWhat is happening in Nagaland? With just a day (or half, since the deadline is 3 pm on Wednesday) left for filing nominations for the assembly elections, just two candidates have submitted their papers till Tuesday, one from the ruling NPF and the other from the new BJP ally NDPP. All local parties in the state had requested the Centre to postpone the elections till a solution was found to the Naga problem under the peace accord signed in August 2015 by Prime Minister Modi with Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), iSsac Muviah faction. But the Centre has not given in to the demand, saying that democratic and electoral processes must go on.
By Sunil Garodia
Initially, all local parties had backed the demand, with even the state BJP endorsing it. But later, the BJP backed out. It then broke its alliance with the ruling NPF and entered into a new alliance with the NDPP. A body, called the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organizations (CCNTHCO) was formed to pressurize the political parties to boycott the polls and the Centre to find a solution before holding the polls. But since two candidates have already filed nominations, it seems that the boycott call is not being heeded.
Recognizing this, Theja Therieh, the convenor of CCNTHCO, has said that the committee is not in sync with the wishes of the people who want a solution but also want elections to be held. CCNTHCO has been dissolved just two weeks after it was formed after a marathon meeting with representatives of all parties in Kohima last night. Since candidates have started filing nominations, the committee saw no point in protesting.
It needs to be said that any form of blackmail to prevent elections should not be tolerated. But having said this, it also needs to be said that the accord must be implemented without further delay. Two years is a long time to work out the details and the modalities that should be put in place to end the insurgency that has been scuttling development in the state. The first priority of the new government should be to get the accord implemented in close consultation with the Centre.