Guwahati: Two Manipuri insurgent groups Zomi Re-unification Organization (ZRO) and Kuki National Organization (KNO) have requested the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to give tickets for their favoured candidates for the Outer Manipur Parliamentary seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The parties, for the first time have written in separate letters to BJP President Amit Shah seeking tickets for HS Benjamin Mate who is a vice-president of BJP's Manipur unit. This is perhaps for the first time that they have come out openly in support of a candidate.
The ZRO in its letter stated that it would be grateful if Shah could award party ticket to Mate claiming that the candidate is most promising among politicians seeking ticket.
The ZRO and KNO groups are in a peace mode following their signing of 'suspension of operation' agreement with the Government of India.
The ZRO was formed in 1997, an armed group of Zomi people following an increase in ethnic tensions between the Kuki people and the Paites tribe in Churachandpur district of Manipur. ZRO's parent organization the Zomi Revolutionary Organization was founded on April 1993 and since August 2005, ZRO is on ceasefire agreement with the Government of India.
On the other hand, KNO is active in most part of Kuki areas in India and Myanmar and the organization takes the responsibility of coordinating different Kuki insurgency groups. The organization have also exercised concern over socio-religious issues such as church unity, campaign against social evils such as narcotics, theft, exploitation and smuggling of local natural resources. Consequently, KNO has earned respect and support from the Kuki community.
The organization appealed to the Government of India and other high-level officials in New Delhi to fulfill their objectives and also avoided confrontation with the security forces.
The Lok Sabha polls in the eight North Eastern states will be held in three phases on 11th, 18th and 23rd April. While polling in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim will be held in a single phase, polling in Manipur and Tripura will be held in two phases and polling in Assam will be held in three phases.
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