Wednesday, May 29, 2024

“Public emergency”: Almost 0% voting in six Nagaland districts amid shutdown over statehood demand

Almost zero voting was recorded in six districts in Nagaland during the Lok Sabha polls on Friday after Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation declared “public emergency” and called on locals to boycott this election

ENPO is demanding a separate administration with more financial autonomy in the region.

Nagaland Chief Election Officer has issued a notice to the ENPO for disrupting the electoral process, NDTV reported.

The notice, issued by CEO Nagaland, Vayasan R, highlighted the gravity of the situation, citing Sub-Section (1) of Section 171C of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

This section pertains to undue influence during elections, stating that “Whoever voluntarily interferes or attempts to interfere with the free exercise of any electoral right commits the offense of undue influence at an election.”

The ENPO has responded saying the public notification was to “reduce the possibility of disturbances in the Eastern Nagaland region, which is under our jurisdiction, and the risk linked with gatherings of anti-social elements”.

The organisation underlined the fact “the Eastern Nagaland region is presently under Public Emergency”, and that this was declared after consultations with stakeholders.

On March 30 ENPO held a lengthy closed-door meeting with 20 MLAs and other organisations, at which they reiterated the decision to totally abstain from the Lok Sabha election.

The Eastern Nagaland Legislators’ Union – consisting of the 20 MLAs – had asked the ENPO to reconsider its decision.

The ENPO also gave an abstention call before last year’s Assembly election, but this was withdrawn after an assurance from Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

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