Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Why Did No One Vote In 6 Nagaland Districts Following ENPO's Call

People supporting the cause of the demand for 'Frontier Nagaland Territory', remained indoors in solidarity with the ENPO.

Empty polling station in Nagaland Photo: PTI

The Lok Sabha polling was held in Nagaland amid a call given by the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) to abstain from voting in six districts which led to a zero voter turnout out of four lakh votes spread over 738 polling stations in six districts.

People supporting the cause of the demand for a separate state, remained indoors in solidarity with the ENPO.

Why Did No One Vote In 6 Districts Of Nagaland?

Election staff in the six eastern districts of Nagaland waited for nine hours at polling stations, but none of the four hundred thousand voters in the area showed up in response to the shutdown called for by the organization to advocate for its 'Frontier Nagaland Territory' demand.

Since 2010, the ENPO has been advocating for the creation of a distinct 'Frontier Nagaland Territory' (FNT) due to claims that the eastern region of the state has received inadequate attention from successive governments.

Election Authority Over Low Voter Turnout In Nagaland

The ENPO replying to the show cause notice issued by the Chief Election Officer Vyasan R said that the "shutdown was a voluntary decision of all the tribal bodies and not imposed by it and that the organisation did not curtail the rights of any individual but all of them stood for the common cause".

Asked if action would be initiated against the ENPO, Vyasan said that "an order has been issued cautioning the organisation that henceforth adequate care be taken to ensure that no action is taken that may be interpreted as interfering or attempting to interfere with the free exercise of electoral rights of any person".

There was no report of voting in the ENPO area, he said.

Various political parties lodged complaints of booth capturing in several polling stations across Kohima, Mokokchung, and Phek districts.

However, after verification by the sectoral magistrates, the Chief Electoral Officer stated that the issue was resolved.

Re-poll in Nagaland

When questioned about the possibility of a re-poll, Sushil Kumar Patel, the Returning Officer for the Nagaland Parliamentary election, mentioned that there is currently no request for a re-poll.

He added that a final decision would only be made after a thorough examination of the polling personnel's documents in the presence of the contesting parties on Saturday.

Voting In Nagaland's Only Lok Sabha Seat

Nagaland holds a single Lok Sabha seat, which is currently held by the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), a partner of the BJP.

The polling for the single Lok Sabha constituency in Nagaland was calm on Friday, with a voter turnout of just over 56 percent, as stated by Chief Electoral Officer.

According to him, the voter turnout in eastern Nagaland is the lowest in the state this time, with over 4 lakh electors abstaining from voting.

In 2014, Nagaland had the highest voter turnout in the country at 87.82%, which decreased to 83% in 2019.

Out of the 60 assembly constituencies in Nagaland, there are 20 legislators representing these six districts.