Nagaland Governor La Ganesan has convened an emergent session of the state assembly on November 9 to discuss the recommendations of the select committee on a bill that will help the authorities conduct municipal elections which have not been held for two decades.
Urban Local Body (ULB) elections in the northeastern state have been long overdue as the last polls were held in 2004. Since then, elections were not conducted first on the unresolved Naga peace talks and then on 33 per cent reservation for women which the tribal bodies opposed.
The governor summoned the emergent session of the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on November 9, according to an order issued by assembly secretary-in-charge Khruohituonuo Rio on Thursday. Members will deliberate on the recommendations of the seven-member Select Committee on the Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023, during the single-day sitting of the House.
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During its March session, the Assembly repealed the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001, and decided to bring about a new law incorporating the views of the tribal bodies and civil societies on 33 per cent women reservation and also tax on land and properties.
The government had announced the conduct of the elections to ULBs several times but staunch objection from the tribal bodies and civil society organisations against the 33 per cent women reservation and tax on land and properties had held back the polls.
In 2017, when the state government led by T R Zeliang tried to hold the elections, there was violence. Two persons were killed and government properties and offices were damaged. It also led to the fall of the Zeliang ministry. The Neiphiu Rio-led all-party government in March this year also announced the conduct of an election with 33 per cent women reservation as directed by the Supreme Court.
However, following stiff resistance again, the government cancelled the elections and also repealed the Act of 2001.
In the September 1 consultative meeting with the tribal bodies and civil society organisations convened by the state government, it was decided that ULB elections will be held with women quota and that the government will table the new Act in the monsoon session of the Assembly.
The new Bill was tabled in the House on September 12 by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio following a deliberation of the members on matters of urgent public interest on “Urban Local Bodies Elections”.
Subsequently, Speaker Sharingain Longkumer on September 14 constituted a seven-member Select Committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister T R Zeliang to examine the latest Bill.
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