The Naga Hoho (supreme tribal council) is an influential, common decision-making platform of the Nagas.
New Delhi: The Naga Hoho has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his help to postpone the forthcoming Nagaland state Assembly polls, saying that the longstanding Naga issue should be resolved first.
In a memorandum written on Monday, the Hoho sought the postponement on the ground of the prevalence of an “exceptional situation” in the state on account of the ongoing negotiations for a peace accord with the militant group Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) (NSCN-IM). The Naga Hoho (supreme tribal council) is an influential, common decision-making platform of the Nagas.
The NSCN-IM’s key demand is to integrate Naga-inhabited areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur, which is seen as an apparent climb-down from its demand for independence. Stating that the Naga peace accord is more important than polls, the Hoho said in the letter: “It has become imperative that the elections to the legislative assembly of Nagaland be deferred for peace and tranquility.” Polls are due in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura in March and an announcement of dates by the Election Commission is expected in early February.
The Centre and the NSCN (IM) had signed a framework agreement in 2015 although talks for a resolution of issues had been ongoing since 1997 after the insurgent outfit signed a ceasefire agreement with the government. Reminding the PM about his statement, soon after assuming office in 2014, that the Naga issue would be resolved in 18 months, the Naga Hoho said almost three years have gone “without finding any tangible solution.”