The Nagaland Assembly resolved not to hold the elections for the urban local bodies (ULBs), which were scheduled to be conducted on May 16 after two decades.
The Nagaland Assembly decided on March 29 not to hold the elections for urban local bodies (ULBs), which were slated to take place on May 16 for the first time in two decades.
Some Naga tribal entities and civil society organisations argued that holding the ULB election under the Nagaland Municipal Act (NMA) 2001 violated Nagaland's unique rights provided by Article 371(A) of the Constitution. The 2001 Act, which was later revised, made a 33% reserve of seats for women obligatory in order to hold the ULB election, as instructed by the Supreme Court.
The Assembly also voted a resolution to abolish the Act only days before nominations are due to be filed on April 3.
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The state's previous ULB elections were conducted in 2004. Introducing the motion, Kenye stated that the House has taken note of the strong resistance to the ULB elections under the NMA by tribal groups, civil society organisations, and people from all walks of life.
"The House has also taken note that the execution of the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 has always been fraught with great controversy since the general view is that it runs counter to the spirit of Article 371A," he added.
While the government was preparing to hold the elections on May 16, various tribal bodies and other organisations passed resolutions to overhaul the NMA 2001 so that it is in accordance with the provisions of Article 371A of the Constitution, and they refused to participate in the ULB elections until that time, according to the minister.
The House debated the issue and decided that the ULBS elections could not take place until the NMA 2001 was abolished.
The House unanimously determined that the Act would be repealed with immediate effect and that legislation to regulate the ULBs would be established, taking into account the grievances of all interested parties, so that elections may be held.
After that, the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 (Repeal Bill) 2023, proposed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, was enacted by the Assembly.
Nevertheless, the chief minister warned on Monday that civic elections would not be held if tribal hohos (organisations) and civil society organisations continue to protest.
"The state government is acting only on the directive of the Supreme Court but if the tribal hohos, civil society bodies and Naga people don’t want the polls, the government is not prepared to confront them," he had told reporters.
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