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Nagaland polls: the murky realities

livemint.com | Sudeep Chakravarti | Feb 23

The seizure of Rs.1.10 crore in cash, several handguns and assault rifles and liquor from the car of this influential member of the incumbent Naga People’s Front (NPF) pointed yet again to murky realities. Here, politics has for long walked hand-in-glove with misappropriation of public funds with a parallel lack of an income tax regime—this disables marking of corruption. Imchen was detained under the Arms Act, not law related to disproportionate assets or unaccounted funds. There is easy access of weapons on account of familiarity with several powerful Naga rebel groups that dip with smooth facility into both the Naga economy and politics. This de facto geography extends beyond Nagaland into Naga-inhabited regions in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

The twisted nature of politics in Nagaland became even more evident when NPF, instead of apologizing, opened a broadside against its key rival Congress—which has 18 seats to NPF’s 35 in the 60-member outgoing assembly—accusing it of deliberate attack and favouritism. A formal party statement accused the Congress of applying “illegal force and the power of its high command to suppress the voice of the Nagas”.



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* This Post is uploaded on February 24, 2013

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