MANIPUR MULTI-CORNER FIGHT A CHALLENGE TO NAGA PARTY
The New Indian Express Chennai|January 17, 2022
THE Naga People’s Front (NPF) is facing a tough challenge of converting Naga subnationalism in the Manipur hills into concrete electoral gains, an uphill task in which it has fallen short in the past two elections.
PRASANTA MAZUMDAR

The NPF this time will go to polls with its four MLAs and the burning issue of the unresolved ‘Naga issue’.

Contesting the ascendant BJP, which heads Manipur’s coalition government and shares power in Nagaland, the NPF faces a resource crunch but is not short on determination. Born in Nagaland, the NPF spread its wings to Manipur about a decade ago. It had contested the Assembly elections of 2012 and 2017 and on both occasions ended up winning four seats.

The Nagas have sizeable presence in the hill districts of Manipur besides in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Eleven of Manipur’s 60 Assembly seats are considered ‘Nagadominated’. They all lie on the hills where the tribals live.

While the Nagas en bloc stand for an ‘inclusive’ solution to the Naga issue and the NPF is the only party in Manipur that carries the ‘Naga’ tag, the Naga sentiment or Naga sub-nationalism, however, does not get reflected in the election results.

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