ENPO Requested To Reconsider Its Decision To Abstain From ULB Polls In Nagaland - Eastern Mirror
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ENPO requested to reconsider its decision to abstain from ULB polls in Nagaland

By EMN Updated: May 18, 2024 10:20 pm

DIMAPUR — The State Election Commission (SEC), Nagaland, has requested the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) to reconsider its stance on the urban local body (ULB) elections scheduled to be held on June 26.

It came a few days after the ENPO reaffirmed the Chenmoho Resolution passed on February 23, 2024, not to participate in any state or central elections until Frontier Nagaland Territory (FNT) is created. People of six Nagaland districts falling under ENPO area, had also abstained from voting in the recent Lok Sabha polls for the same reason.

In a press release issued on Saturday, the SEC said that its attention has been drawn to a press statement concerning the ENPO’s decision not to participate in the ULB elections that appeared in local newspapers on May 16, a copy of which was also addressed to the commission.

While maintaining that the commission is cognisant of the issue surrounding the ENPO’s stand, the SEC said it is of the view that the method adopted to express their stand on collective abstention from participating in the ULB election needs a reasoned reconsideration.

“Firstly, it is a constitutional right for every eligible citizen to vote. Conversely, the option of not to vote is an understood extension of the right. This right, however, needs to be understood in the light of individual freedom and choice. Voting per se is singular, based on the principle of one person one vote; it is not a collective instrument,” it said.

Therefore, it is a settled principle that an individual voter enjoys the freedom of conscience to exercise this right without any external or undue influence from any individual or organisation, said the SEC.

It also pointed out that the matter of ULB elections in the Nagaland has been under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India with notice of contempt issued to several entities in the state.

Hence, any attempt to disturb or disrupt the electoral process by any individual or organisation, in violation of the court orders, would potentially have serious legal ramifications, it reminded.

The SEC went on to state that the constitution of urban local bodies, like the municipal and town councils, through the participation of the local community in the electoral process, is an essential requirement for incorporating the common aspirations and grievances of the local populace as reflected in the development and progress of the municipalities.

The process is as important as and an integral part of the outcomes, it added.

The commission further affirmed that it is committed to holding free and fair elections to all the municipal and town councils in the state as notified on April 29, 2024.

“It is hoped that through these elections, the people in the municipality areas would be able to freely and willingly participate in exercising the constitutional right to vote and/or to contest as is deemed necessary to discharge the vital functions of local self governance,” the commission said.

While requesting the ENPO to reconsider its decision to abstain from the ULB polls, the commission iterated that it will ensure that all polling processes continue as per the election schedule.

Also read: Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation reaffirms ULB election abstention

By EMN Updated: May 18, 2024 10:20:55 pm
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