Nagaland government puts ENPO issue on hold, seeks greater engagement

Nagaland government puts ENPO issue on hold, seeks greater engagement

The Nagaland government has temporarily postponed the Eastern Naga People's Organization (ENPO) issue due to lack of a positive response. The state government has been transparent throughout the process and has urged the ENPO to participate in the upcoming Urban Local Body (ULB) election.

Nagaland government puts ENPO issue on hold, seeks greater engagement Nagaland government puts ENPO issue on hold, seeks greater engagement

The Minister for Power and Parliamentary Affairs, KG Kenye, on May 16, said that the state government has kept the Eastern Naga People's Organization (ENPO) issue pending due to a lack of positive response from the ENPO side. The content of the draft official letter received last October by the Chief Minister pertains to the sharing of powers if the ENPO's aspirations are realized.

Speaking to media at the Secretariat conference hall following a cabinet meeting, Kenye highlighted that the cabinet discussed the ENPO's movement for Frontier Nagaland and reviewed the sequence of events since last year, including the latest statement by the ENPO. The government has clarified certain aspects of the issue.

Kenye emphasised that there have been no misunderstandings or misconceptions throughout the process. No adverse remarks have been made by any individuals or organizations since the ENPO began its movement for a new political entity in 2011.

The state government recommended the ENPO case to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) over a decade ago. Since then, progress has been smooth, with the state not directly involved in the talks, which have been between the ENPO and the MHA. A tripartite talk proposal was made by the state last October, after which the Chief Minister was consulted.

Kenye informed that the latest issue involves a draft official letter received from the MHA by the Chief Minister, which caused controversy regarding its authenticity. The letter contained proposals related to the ENPO's demands to the Government of India (GOI). After receiving the letter, the Chief Minister consulted with legislators from the Eastern Region and handed over the draft letter to the Convenor of the Eastern Naga Legislature Union (ENLU).

Regarding the ENPO's decision to abstain from the upcoming Urban Local Body (ULB) election, Kenye noted that the state has struggled to conduct the election for over two decades. He urged the ENPO to see the election as a means to address their demands, which are already being processed at the highest level. Kenye stressed that ULBs are semi-autonomous bodies meant to manage local affairs and promote grassroots development. He appealed to the ENPO and others to participate in the upcoming ULB election to secure more funds from the center and develop town councils.

Responding to queries about direct talks with the ENPO, Kenye said the government had attempted to meet the ENPO in the past, but the situation was not favorable. The government communicated with the ENPO through the ENLU and the Eastern Nagaland Gazette Officers Association (ENGOA).

On the issue of Free Movement Regime (FMR), Kenye said the State Assembly has already passed a resolution requesting the GOI to reconsider its decision to scrap the FMR. He urged NGOs and civil societies to be patient while the GOI takes a considered decision on the matter.

Further, Kenye announced the formation of a Political Affairs Committee (PAC) to focus on resolving the Naga political issue. He requested all political parties to form Political Consultative Committees (PCCs) to assist the PACs in reaching out to stakeholders.

Edited By: Aparmita
Published On: May 16, 2024