Manipur and Nagaland aren’t the best of neighbours, thanks to a highway of discontent. The fault lines widen during elections.
Last year, Manipur used the ‘territorial integrity’ bogey to check the advance of new poll entrant Naga People’s Front (NPF).
The NPF, Nagaland’s ruling party, is reciprocating this time by blaming Manipur for the ills dogging the Nagas.
Territorial integrity refers to the threat from the Naga rebels’ goal of bringing all Naga-inhabited areas beyond Nagaland under one administration.
Nagas dominate three of Manipur’s hill districts adjoining Nagaland and are stakeholders in the Greater Nagaland dream of Naga rebel groups.
Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio virtually launched the NPF poll campaign by firing a salvo at his Manipur counterpart Okram Ibobi Singh, calling him ‘one of the biggest enemies of the Nagas’.
In a state where Manipur is regarded a hurdle before the Naga peace process – a series of talks have proved inconclusive since 1997.