A leader of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN (I-M) has been held for allegedly asking people not to vote for Nagaland’s BJP president, Temjen Imna Along, who is seeking re-election from the Alongtaki Assembly constituency.
Officials said Lanuwati Jamir, the NSCN (I-M) leader of the State’s Ao region was picked up by the personnel of a paramilitary force on Wednesday night after a letter purportedly signed by him was circulated in villages under the Alongtaki constituency, directing the people not to vote for Mr Along. He was handed over to the police.
The letter said the State BJP chief had an “anti-Naga character” and was working for the RSS to make “Hinduism penetrate” Nagaland. It also warned of “stern action” against those who do not comply with the diktat.
The NSCN (I-M) clarified that its central committee did not issue such a directive to the voters of Alongtaki and said it would investigate into the matter. “There is no question of either supporting or opposing any candidate since we are not involved in the elections in any way,” a spokesperson of the outfit said on Thurday.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, campaigning in Nagaland for the BJP and the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidates, downplayed the diktat and indicated it could be a “case of miscommunication”.
The BJP, contesting 20 of Nagaland’s 60 seats, has already bagged the Akuluto constituency uncontested. The NDPP, its ally, is contesting the other 40 seats.
Elections in Nagaland are scheduled on February 27 along with Meghalaya. The results will be declared on March 2.