As the Nagaland Legislative Assembly has unanimously resolved to repeal the Nagaland Municipal Act (NMA) 2001, the state Deputy Chief Minister TR Zeliang, on March 29 said that the issue of Urban Local Body (ULB) elections is not new to the state.
He said this while speaking in House and reminded us that the said issue is two decades old and it continues to haunt us to this day.
''The issue of Urban Local Body Elections relating to 33 per cent women reservation in the state is not new to the state of Nagaland; in fact, it is two decades old and it continues to haunt us till this day,'' he added.
Zeliang further reiterated on a few counts which he has said all these years vis-à-vis the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001.
He suggested to the House, that if the state had to continue with this opposition to Article 243T, it would be best that an Assembly resolution was passed to repeal the Act and take it up with the Central government for further action.
He also said as long as the issue was kept hanging this way, the grants and funds for the development of towns would continue to be hindered and at the end of the day, the Naga public was the loser.
“Be it on the issue of women's reservation or taxation on land and buildings, the election to the ULBs is unlikely to happen and so it is our collective responsibility to apply our wisdom and find a solution once and for all. It is difficult and will hurt the sentiments of the women and some may continue their fight for reservation but for how long can we drag this issue and deprive ourselves of development? It is time to accept the facts and reality of the ground situation and apprise the central government to allow us to be exempted from this Act,” Zeliang added.
“Many of the Members here today have championed the cause of women reservation but we, as responsible lawmakers, cannot dictate and bulldoze our way when all the Tribal Hohos and CSOs are vehemently opposing it, and under such a paradigm, the general public may not turn out to participate in the ULB election,'' he opined.
He also extended his support to the resolution moved by K G Kenye.
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