Orgs set for January 23 rally; calls for poll deferment continue
Dimapur, Jan. 21: The Joint Co-ordination Committee (JCC) spearheading the boycott of the municipal and town council elections in Dimapur has appealed to citizens to attend a rally on January 23 in Dimapur “so as to come to a consensus solution to the present crisis.”
The Naga Council of Dimapur, a part of the committee, issued a press release on Saturday informing about the event and reaffirming its opposition to the urban local body elections.
The JCC is composed of various community organizations such as the Ao, Lotha, Sumi, Chakhro Angami and the Chakhesang tribe.
“For the proposed public rally on 23rd January 2017, 11:00 am at State Stadium Dimapur near DC court Jn. initiated by JCC to reaffirm its stand against present imbroglio with regard to ULB election,” the organization stated in the press release.
“The Naga Council Dimapur would like to inform all the denizens of Dimapur that normal day to day activities would not be affected and all business, private, government establishments would run as usual.”The council has appealed to the public “to attend the rally so as to come to a consensus solution to the present crisis.”
T Bengerloba, president of the Naga Council, appended the press release.
CPO calls for solidarity
The Chakhroma Public Organisation (CPO) has requested all the frontal organisations and village units under its jurisdiction to attend the “peace rally” on January 23 at the state stadium in Dimapur at 11 AM. The CPO issued a note on Saturday seeking solidarity “to safe guard the traditional practices of the Nagas by joining hands on this peace rally.” Members are requested to “come in any of the traditional dresses for identification,” it added.
CNTC appeals to govt. to postpone elections
The Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) has appealed to the state government to postpone the urban local body elections “for the one more time and take heed to the voice of the people.”
The CNTC’s media cell issued a note on Saturday stating the Joint Co-ordination Committee was formed to deal with the municipal election issue.
The organization stated that it was not against the elections “but against the 33% women reservation issue which needs serious deliberation for all stakeholders so that it becomes acceptable for all.”
Also, the CNTC asked candidates to abstain from contesting in the elections and “renounce their candidatures.”
“The state capital Kohima had witnessed a nil nomination along with other districts therefore appealed the state govt. to consider the continuous appeals made by various civil societies. Whatever maybe the differences, the CNTC have appealed to all to maintain restraint amongst the conflicting parties and to sort out the matter peacefully for the betterment of our people which will be beneficial for all,” the note added.
GBs calls against ‘diluting customary law’
The Nagaland GBs’ Federation (NGBF) has advised against ‘diluting Naga customary law.’ A note from the organization on Saturday stated that the “first Naga civilization” had been traced back to the “11th century by historians.” Authors and writers have portrayed the Nagas’ lifestyles, and their customs and traditions, their land holdings and forests besides the “system of government” in each village, the GBs asserted.
“…it is an appeal to all not to dilute our unique customary practice by imposing unusual practices which are not in practice from time immemorial till date. Diluting and twisting our customs and traditions for self benefit or to mislead would surely tarnish our identity which was acknowledged by the British India Sarkari and recognized by the government of India,” the press release stated.
Also, calling itself the “custodian of the customary law,” the Nagaland GBs Federation urged the people to “strongly uphold our customs and traditions.”
The NGBF also asked district GB associations to “maintain and follow the customs and traditions which were carried on and practiced by our forefathers and also play the roles of fatherly figure in promoting peace and harmony and to avoid breach of conduct.”
Further, the organization has asked GBs not to participate in any rally, bandh or boycott of the ongoing issue surrounding the elections as notified by the government.
“In the mean time, NGBF request the election commission if possible to defer the ULBs election till the situation get normal and understanding takes place between govt and pressure groups,” it added.
NPF responds to NPCC
The Naga Peoples’ front (NPF) has responded to what it stated was “conflicting NPCC (Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee) press statements” in the media “lamenting and hitting out at the NPF and BJP allies of the DAN government, on the issue of fielding their party candidates” for the municipal and town council elections.
“It is a truism that elections to the ULBs in Nagaland have been unduly delayed and that, the government took the decision to hold the said elections after having made every possible efforts to erase any doubt, whatsoever, confronting the citizens, making it amply clear that the decision to hold the ULB elections is all for the betterment of the people and the state,” the NPF’s media cell stated in a response on Saturday.
“Surprisingly,” the press release remarked, the NPCC “appears to have been left with no agenda of value to present to the people of Nagaland, other than to beat around in frustration, targeting the NPF led DAN government, accusing the NPF and BJP in particular for their effort to participate or contest the ULB elections is amusing.”
The NPF also asserted that the statements of NPCC leaders KL Chishi and the NPCC’s president K Therie are “conflicting and contradictory to each other.”
While Chishi was quoted to have said that all four Congress candidates who filed nominations for Dimapur Municipal Council withdrew their candidatures, the NPF stated, K Therie, appealed to all urban voters to vote for the “few brave-heart Congress nominees” and independent candidates left in the ULB elections.
Having failed to garner any tangible support of the electorate, the NPF asserted, the NPCC has “made a laughing stock of themselves in the eyes of the people” in its “attempt to mislead the public for political gain.”