Nobody would want to be in the shoes of the Nagaland unit of the BJP right now. And not something unexpected. With the Central unit of the BJP saying yes to the upcoming Assembly polls in Nagaland, the State unit of the same party is in a fix, refraining from issuing the party ticket to any intending candidate so far. The pressure must be immense. With all the pressure groups, including political parties in Nagaland, standing under the slogan, ‘Solution before Election,’ the situation that the Nagaland BJP finds itself in today can only be imagined and at the moment there just does not seem to be any way out. Tragic it is but it is fast becoming clear that the stand off, over the question of whether the BJP should participate in the Assembly election or not, seems to be a stand off between New Delhi and the NSCN (IM) and the NNPGs on the other side. Not saying that this will impact on the ongoing political negotiations between the armed groups in Nagaland and the Government of India, but what is happening right now is a clash of idea and approach to the political dialogue. Understandably, the NSCN (IM), the NNPGs and the people of Nagaland must be eagerly waiting for the final pact to materialise, but as Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju explained, holding the Assembly election is a ‘Constitutional process’ and the Constitution is supreme. On the other hand, it was not for nothing why convenor of the Steering Committee of the NSCN (IM), Rh Raising went on record to state that solution is about the future of the Nagas whereas election is ‘about the Indian Constitution’ Interesting to note that the Constitution is preceded by the word Indian.
Most probably it would not have just been a shot in the dark in preceding the term Constitution with the word Indian, and herein lies the significance of the statement of the senior NSCN (IM) leader. Many things may be read into this, but what can be said with a degree of certainty is the fact that the outfit no longer wants to wait interminably. Rh Raising went further to assert that the scheduled election is anti-thesis to solution, and the fact that this came just a few days after senior BJP leader Ram Madhav, who is also in charge of the BJP in the North East, said that the scheduled election is another stepping stone towards working out the final pact. A clear example of how the NSCN (IM) and New Delhi view the scheduled election and the coming days can only get more interesting. Interesting to the observers, but definitely it will not be interesting for the Nagaland unit of the BJP. As things stand today, already a senior BJP leader of Nagaland has been suspended from the party for appending his signature to the declaration to stay away from the polls during the joint meeting called by the Core Committee of the Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations. The pressure from New Delhi and the ground reality at home, that is Nagaland, must be pinching the Nagaland unit of the BJP hard. Moreover even if the Nagaland BJP unit says yes to the polls, will there be any candidate for the party willing to brush aside the joint declaration and join the fray ? It is anybody’s guess.
The Sangai Express Editorial