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Business News/ Elections / Lok Sabha polls 2024 Phase One: Almost zero per cent voting recorded in 6 Nagaland districts — here is why
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Lok Sabha polls 2024 Phase One: Almost zero per cent voting recorded in 6 Nagaland districts — here is why

Almost zero per cent of voting was recorded in six eastern districts of Nagaland following a 'public emergency' declared by the ENPO, which is demanding a separate administration — Frontier Nagaland Territory — with more financial autonomy.

Lok Sabha polls 2024 Phase One: Zero per cent voting recorded in 6 eastern districts of NagalandPremium
Lok Sabha polls 2024 Phase One: Zero per cent voting recorded in 6 eastern districts of Nagaland

For the first time in the history of Nagaland, almost zero per cent voting was recorded in six eastern districts of the state after nine hours of polling which started at 7 am following a 'public emergency' declared by Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO), which is demanding a separate administration (Frontier Nagaland Territory) with more financial autonomy. Earlier, the group had called on locals to boycott this election.

The ENPO is the apex body of the seven tribal organisations of the eastern region. The organisation issued a notice on Thursday calling for a total shutdown.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Nagaland Awa Loring said polling personnel were present between 7 am and 4 pm in the 738 polling stations in the region which comprises 20 assembly constituencies but there was no movement of people or vehicles on major streets in eastern Nagaland except those of the district administrations and other emergency services.

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The NDTV reported that the chief election officer of the northeastern state has issued a notice to the ENPO for disrupting the electoral process. Issuing the showcase notice, the chief election officer said the group had attempted “to use undue influence... by interfering with the free exercise of those residing in Eastern Nagaland areas to vote in the general election".

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In the notice, the chief election officer sought the group's response “as to why action under subsection of Section 171C of the Indian Penal Code should not be initiated".

"Whoever voluntarily interferes, or attempts to interfere, with the free exercise of any electoral right commits the offence of undue influence at the election," the notice read.

Responding to the notice, the ENPO said the 'public emergency' notification intended 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 ENPO underlined the fact that "the Eastern Nagaland region is presently under Public Emergency", and that this was declared after consultations with stakeholders.

"Given that the shutdown was a voluntary initiative by the people, there was no question of coercion or enforcement by the ENPO or any other authority," the statement said.

Earlier today, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio affirmed that the state government does not have any problem with the ENPO’s demand for Frontier Nagaland Territory as it has already recommended autonomous powers for the region.

The chief minister said the state government has already recommended an autonomous body so that the region gets sufficient economic packages to come at par with the rest of the state.

“When an autonomous body is created, there has to be a proper system with the elected members. The state government has nothing to do with this. The MLAs and ENPO should sit across the table to work out a formula. We can talk only after that," PTI quoted Rio as saying.

 

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Published: 19 Apr 2024, 06:48 PM IST
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