Oken Jeet Sandham
When the ENPO issue is steadily coming to the fore and some people from other tribes started putting their thoughts in it, there is another move doing the round. It is the State government is said to be toying with the idea of bifurcating the existing Mon district into two.
The framework of the new district will be done by craving out the three constituencies—Tobu, Tehok and Moka—from the Mon district. Representatives from these constituencies—Naiba Konyak (Tobu), CL John (Tehok) and Pangteang (Moka)—are all from the ruling NPF. There appears to be no problem to bifurcation of the existing Mon district into two as the district is primarily inhabited by the Konyak tribe. The only problem is there is tussle over choosing new district headquarters.
Tobu MLA, Naiba Konyak, is said to have demanded that the new district headquarters to be at Tabu, whereas the other two legislators from Tehok and Moka wanted to have it at Aboi. If the matter is left to these three Konyak legislators, then it may likely to go to Aboi.
It is however learnt that if the Tobu legislator refuses to budge from his demand, he may be left out from the new district arrangement plan and may go with Phomching constituency which is represented by Congress MLA K Konngam Konyak.
The idea of bifurcation of the existing Mon district into two assumes significance in view of the current issue of the ENPO demanding a separate “Frontier Nagaland State” by carving out four districts—Mon, Tuensang, Kiphere and Longlen—from the present state of Nagaland. Out of these four districts, Mon has the highest MLAs, that is 9 MLAs, on tribe wise.
It is also reported that the Konyak Union, an apex body of the Konyak tribe, has given no object to the bifurcation of their existing Mon district into two.
The basic idea of creating new districts is largely done on the basis of economic development and sometimes for administrative convenience. On this line, the DAN government in its first tenure had successfully created Kiphere and Longlen districts and this development had later forced the then leaders of Tuensang and Mon Public Organization (TMPO) to change their organization’s nomenclature to Eastern Naga Public Organization (ENPO), so also other subordinate organizations including students’ body etc. As such the minds of various tribes inhabiting in this region could not be strayed. In a way, they outsmarted the government.
But the creation of the new district did not go well as we could see, at the end, that under the banner of the ENPO, a new separate state demand under the name and style of “Frontier Nagaland” floated. It is a blow to the DAN Government.
So, one simply believes that even bifurcating existing Mon district or creating more districts—may be with the policy of economic uplift of the areas—will not change much on the ground. Unless one studies the nature of issues prevailing on the ground, it will be difficult to start addressing the issue confronting and it will be back to square one.