KOHIMA: Political parties in Nagaland, including the ruling NPF, today lent support to the demand of apex tribal body Naga Hoho that a solution to the Naga issue be found ahead of the Assembly elections in the state next month.
The Naga People's Front (NPF), National People's Party (NPP) and Aam Admi Party (AAP) told the core committee of the Naga Hohos at a meeting that they had agreed to the demand of a "solution not election".
The BJP, which has four MLAs in the state, did not participate in the meeting and the tribal leaders said that they would urge the saffron party to accept the views of the people.
The tribal organisations have called for deferment of the February 27 elections in the state, saying a solution to the seven-decade-old Naga problem needed to be found first.
The Congress, National Democratic Peoples' Party, Janata Dal (United), Nationalist Congress Party and Nagaland Congress had consented to the demand of the tribal outfit not to participate in the election process during a similar meeting held on January 25.
The parties, however, urged the Tribal Hohos to first convince the BJP to stay away from the polls to avoid a repeat of the 1998 state election.
In 1998, the Naga Hoho had called for poll boycott, but the then ruling Congress members had filed nomination at the last moment and the party won 59 seats in the 60-member House.
BJP leader and in-charge of Nagaland, Ram Madhav had said on January 22 in Dimapur that a new state government will bring the Naga solution closer and there are constitutional obligation to hold the polls first.
NPF president Shurhozelie Liezietsu said, "We have always stood for a solution to the Naga political issue and will continue to listen to the voice of the people. But we do not want a repetition of the same incident."
At the conclusion of the meeting, the convener of the Nagaland Tribal Hoho core committee, Theja Therie, said they would approach the BJP to accept the common voice of "solution not election".
He said that another meeting of all political parties, tribal organisations and civil societies would be held on Monday to ink a written agreement not to participate and to defer the elections.
NPP vice-president Katoho Sukhalu said, "NPP is with the Naga people in letter and spirit when it comes to a peaceful solution to the age-old Naga political issue."
JD(U) Nagaland unit convener Senchumo NSN Lotha said the party shall not stand against the wishes and aspiration of the people of Nagaland.