The Election Commission of India on Wednesday issued a notification for the February 27 Assembly polls in Nagaland, IANS reported. In protest against the notification, a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh called by political parties and civil society groups began.
Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha told PTI that Wednesday was the first day to file nominations, but there was no turnout. The last date for filing nominations is February 7.
The Core Committee of Naga Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations has called Thursday’s strike. As many as 11 political parties including the ruling Naga People’s Front had on Monday signed a bond to not contest the elections until there is a solution to the ongoing Naga peace talks with the government.
The bandh was near total in five districts, the local Morung Express reported. However, it failed to find much support in six other districts after the Angami Public Organisation, Eastern Nagaland Public Organisation, and the Lotha Hoho groups backed out.
While the strike was effective in Dimapur, its impact was minimal in the state capital of Kohima, the Hindustan Times reported.
“We leave it to the conscience of the people and not enforce the bandh forcibly,” the core committee convener Theja Therieh said. “As per our reports, it is total in many areas as people have chosen not to venture out. We are not against democratic process and election. But the momentum of the talks, which are at a crucial stage, would get lost if an election is held.”
Unidentified police and election officials told PTI that elaborate security arrangements had been made to prevent violent incidents and to allow candidates to file nominations.