Nagaland Assembly's Latest Move May Affect Reservation For Women In Civic Polls
In a significant move, the Nagaland assembly has passed a resolution to repeal the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001. The move comes in the back drop of strong protest from various tribal Hohos, top body of tribal groups, and civil societies demanding the repeal of the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2021.
The move is seen as a setback to the government initiative to hold elections to local bodies in Nagaland and may affect the reservation for women in civic polls.
The polls were mandated following an order by the Supreme Court.
The tribal organisations and Civil society groups are demanding that elections be held only after amending the Nagaland Municipal Act (NMA), 2001, which they say infringes upon Article 391(A) of the Constitution that gives special rights to Nagas on their lands and its resources, and safeguards their customs and traditions.
The State Election Commission had earlier notified elections to three municipal councils and 36 town councils on May 16 with 33 per cent reservation for women.
Traditional tribal bodies have threatened to boycott the civic polls in Nagaland unless the government guarantees that reserving 33% of the seats would not violate the provisions of Article 371A of the Constitution of India.
The Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) also said it would not allow the conduct of civic polls until NMA, 2001 was repealed.
The tribal Hohos adopted a seven-point resolution topped by the demand to review the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001, which vested in every municipality the power to acquire property and levy taxes apart from paving the way for the reservation of seats for women.
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