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By Oken Jeet Sandham
KOHIMA, Jan 29 (NEPS): Nagaland is gradually plunging into an uncertain political crisis that might lead to an ultimate Constitutional crisis as all the Political parties, Regional and National, have agreed not file nominations for the elections to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly. These political parties responded to the call of the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organization (CCNTHCS) that “Solution” to the Naga political issue should be arrived at before the “Election” in the State.
As per their declaration made in the presence of apex tribal hohos and civil society organizations today at Hotel Japfu, Kohima, the political parties in Nagaland will not issue party tickets to their respective candidates for the ensuing Assembly elections in Nagaland. If this peculiar development comes into a reality, it is sure that the State is heading for a Constitutional crisis and ultimately the “President’s Rule” will be imposed in the State.
The “Joint Declaration” signed by representatives of eleven Political parties that included ruling NPF and BJP said, “We the undersigned on behalf of all the political parties and the intending candidates have, in compliance with the wishes of the people, decided not to go ahead with the issuance of party tickets or filing of nominations.”
It declared that they “firmly believe that it is expedient for all the political parties, both national and regional, to come together in the greater interest of the State in solidarity with the call Solution before Election and defer the elections to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly and allow political process to reach its logical conclusion by giving space and time to the negotiating groups to bring out an early solution.”
Appreciating the coming together of all political parties at the call, CCNTHCS Convener Theja Therie disclosed that they also had a joint meeting with the Political Parties and Naga Political Groups (NPGs) earlier in the day at Hotel Japfu, Kohima. All agreed to the call – “Solution not Election,” he added.
With regard to the Independent candidates, Therie said they strongly believed that such situation would not arise when the whole political parties decided not to go ahead with the issuance of party tickets or filing of nominations. He, however, stated that they could not prevent anyone from filing nominations but if such cases happened, they would be declared as “anti-Naga.”
When referred to the 1998 Nagaland Assembly elections where only ruling Congress went ahead with the elections by filing nominations in absence of other political parties, even though they were declared “anti-Naga,” HK Zhimomi, Co-Convener, CCNTHCS, stated that that time the issue was emotional and the ceasefire just started between Government of India and NSCN (IM). But this time, talks have been going on between Government of India and NSCN (IM) and also other NPGs. At the same time, Interlocutor RN Ravi himself has stated that “solution to the Naga issue is very close.”
When asked whether BJP would comply with the call, Therie said BJP was part of the Nagaland Assembly Resolution adopted during Assembly Session in December last year that elections to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly should be deferred in view of the ongoing political negotiations between the Government of India and NPGs.
Agreeing to the would-be Constitutional crisis that might emerge in the event of political parties staying away from filing nominations, he further explained that the “talks” were in “advanced stage” and when the Nagas have come together with one voice with regard to the settlement of the Naga issue, the Government of India would surely take the matter seriously. Otherwise, the elections in the State would only prolong the issue, besides polarizing the people and political parties.
“Enough is enough,” he said and further made it clear that if the “negotiating parties” felt that they could not bring a solution, they should hand over the issue to the people. The Government should have a “mechanism” to bring solution and political parties should take a call, he added.