A Vote for No Vote: The Political Strategy Behind ENPO Lok Sabha Election Boycott


In a missive dispatched to the Election Commission, the Eastern Nagaland Peoples Organisation (ENPO) communicated its resolve to abstain from participating in the impending Lok Sabha electoral proceedings. This deliberation by ENPO was articulated as a strategic maneuver, not as a rebellion against the electoral framework or the tenets of democratic governance. Rather, it seeks to spotlight the tribulations and ambitions harbored by the inhabitants of Eastern Nagaland.

The ENPO, an umbrella entity representing seven tribal factions from the region, has lodged a formal notification with the Election Commission of India. Through this correspondence, addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner via the Chief Electoral Officer of Nagaland, the organization unveiled its unanimous decree to eschew engagement in the forthcoming parliamentary election.

On March 19, 2024, under the auspices of ENPO, the populace of Eastern Nagaland collectively re- endorsed the Chenmoho Resolution." This resolution was a reiteration of their vow to eschew participation in any national or state electoral processes. This abstention is a protest against the perceived procrastination in the establishment of the frontier Nagaland territory (FNT), a promise purportedly made by the Ministry of Home Affairs on December 7, 2023. This commitment was expected to be fulfilled prior to the promulgation of the Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 by the ECI.

The organization elucidated that its stance is not an act of insubordination against the electoral system or democratic principles. Instead, it represents a principled position adopted within the bounds of the Indian Constitution, intended to draw attention to the legitimate grievances and aspirations of Eastern Nagaland populace.

Since 2010, the ENPO has been vociferously advocating for the inception of a distinct state, contending that the sextet of districts constituting Eastern Nagaland have suffered neglect for decades. The organization harbors optimism that the Indian Government will acknowledge their plaints and initiate tangible measures to resolve the protracted issue surrounding the frontier Nagaland territory.

Recently, the Nagaland Cabinet and its legislators implored the ENPO to reconsider its decision and partake in the Lok Sabha electoral fray. The election for Nagaland singular Lok Sabha seat is slated for April 19.

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