Nagaland market fire: CM visits spot, assures of relief
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio (file photo)

Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio Wednesday said that his government will soon take up for discussion the issue of 33 per cent reservation for women in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the state.

A committee constituted by the state government to examine the proposal for reservation for women in the ULBs has submitted its report and it will be taken up for discussion in the next Cabinet meeting, Rio told newspersons on the sidelines of a programme here.

Following a Supreme Court order to conduct ULB elections with 33 per cent reservation for women as per the 74th Amendment of the Constitution, the state government, after making necessary amendments in the Nagaland Municipal and Town Council Act, had announced polls to the ULBs in 2017.

However, the state witnessed violent protests after the announcement of polls in 2017 that claimed two lives. Government and private properties were damaged and it also led to a change of chief ministership of T R Zeliang by Shurhozelie Liezietsu.

Tribal hohos and several civil society organisations were opposed to the reservation for women in ULB elections on grounds that it was against their customary law and violated special provisions granted to Nagaland under Article 371(A) of the Constitution.

In October 2021, the state government formed a committee headed by the Nagaland chief secretary to review the Municipality Act and the issue of reservation for women.

Two women representatives -Dr Rosemary Dziivichii, professor at Nagaland University, and Sotsula, Secretary of Science and Technology Department, were also in the committee.

The committee held a series of meetings with civil society organisations and has submitted its report to the government.

The state Cabinet will have threadbare deliberations on its recommendations, said Rio.

Inaugurating the newly constructed building of the Directorate of Municipal Affairs here, the chief minister said due to the inability to conduct ULB elections, Nagaland was losing developmental grants from the Central government.

He said the Supreme Court had recently directed the state government to bring out a formula to implement the reservation of women in ULBs within the next six weeks and to conduct elections.

The government is conducting consultations with the civil societies and the tribal bodies and will be submitting our recommendations to the Supreme Court, the chief minister said.

There have been no ULB elections in the north-eastern state for over a decade now.

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