Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his cabinet on Thursday appealed to the Eastern Nagaland Gazetted Officers Association (ENGOA) to persuade the people of Eastern Nagaland to participate in the ensuing Lok Sabha election.

The cabinet led by Rio made the appeal during a meeting with ENGOA officials and other leaders of the region at the conference hall of the Chief Minister’s residential complex in Kohima on Thursday evening.

“The cabinet held a meeting with ENGOA and some other leaders of the eastern region for the first time and they were well represented. We deliberated on all documents and took stock of the status up to what extent developments have taken place till now (regarding the Frontier Nagaland Territory issue),” KG Kenye, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs & Power and spokesperson for the government said while addressing the media after the meeting.

“We deliberated on all the documents and took stock of the status, up to what extent development has taken till now in regards to the new political entity which they are aspiring for,” he said.
“Today’s meeting was healthy and we had free and frank discussions. The state government has presented a brief report from the time it started in 2010 till now, while different members presented their opinions and views,” he said.

“We have reiterated to the citizens from Eastern Nagaland through ENGOA that they must participate in the electoral process this time and try to solve whatever is ahead of us amicably and not taking a confrontation position,” he said.

“With understanding and more patience, I think we should resolve this issue. It does not mean that if not resolved before the parliamentary elections, the issue will die down. It is a continuous process and has already taken more than a decade and will continue after the installation of the new government at the Centre,” Kenye added.

“We will continue to request everyone up to the last citizen in the State, wherever they are from, to cast their vote and participate in the electoral process of this country,” Kenye also said.

On the response from the ENGOA side, Kenye claimed that the Association has assured the State Government that it will continue to persuade the ENPO, which is spearheading the movement, to participate in the polls.

Despite appeals from the state cabinet and Eastern Nagaland Legislators’ Union, the ENPO remained steadfast in its decision to abstain from participating in the election till its demand was fulfilled and even communicated its stance to the Election Commission of India.

Mokokchung Times

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