Twelve apex tribal hohos (bodies) of Nagaland threatened to boycott the upcoming notified May 26 urban local body (ULB) elections in the state if their demand for amendment of the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 is not met.
“Until and unless the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 is reviewed and re-written, the ULB elections may be deferred,” they said.
This was one of the seven-point resolutions adopted by the 12 tribal bodies at a consultative meeting in the commissioner’s guest house in Kohima on March 27.
However, they assured the fullest cooperation to the government in the conduct of the ULB polls if their demands are fulfilled in time.
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The demands, which were submitted to chief minister Neiphiu Rio, included review or re-writing of any part or section of the Act that infringes Article 371 (A) in complete consonance with the voice of the Naga people. The tribal bodies argued that the Act is a “borrowed” one and therefore should be reviewed or re-written in the context of the Naga people.
As per the resolution, the word “omission/omitted” used in the subsequent amendments of the Act with respect to “land and building taxation”, “Scheduled Caste” and in sections wherever they occur should be totally substituted with the word “deletion/deleted”.
They opined that reservation of the chairperson for women in civic bodies is a deprivation for the rightful candidate and therefore it is not acceptable.
“The office of the chairperson by reservation or by rotation should be totally revoked/annulled so that the elected members can elect the right candidate who is a Scheduled Tribe indigenous inhabitant of Nagaland to the office of the chairperson from among themselves, be it man or woman, democratically,” the tribal bodies demanded.
They also demanded that the Nagaland government should give a “clean chit/guarantee” to the people of the state that “33% women reservation” does not infringe Article 371 (A) before rushing to hold the ULB polls.
The tribal bodies further demanded that the government clearly define the tenures or duration of the “30% women reservation” in ULBs. They suggested that the duration of the application of the “33% women reservation” should not exceed more than two tenures.
In addition to the seven-point resolution, the respective tribal hohos and frontal organisations have been asked to ensure that no candidate files a nomination in their jurisdiction so that the ULP elections are not held until the government fulfil the demands.
Any person or persons violating the resolutions of the tribal hohos will be dealt with appropriate action as per respective customary laws, it was warned.
Further, the tribal bodies said the state government should bring to the knowledge of the people or groups concerned the report of the Joint Inquiry Commission on January 31, 2017, Dimapur incident in which two persons were killed.
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