Protesting against the decision to repeal the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 that provided for 33 per cent reservation for women in the civic bodies, prominent women's organisations of the state asked the government why they were not consulted on such a crucial issue.
A convention on the issue was organised by the Naga Mothers' Association (NMA) at Nagaland University in Kohima, in which several women's organisations participated.
"Naga women object to the decision to repeal this act and take exception to the fact that this was done without any civil dialogue or consultation with women," said a statement issued by the NMA on March 29 following the programme.
The two women MLAs of the state remained silent during the deliberations on the issue in the assembly, it said.
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Representatives of the NDPP, BJP and NPF, besides the Naga Women Hoho Dimapur, Zeliangrong Mepui Organisation and Pochury Mothers Association also participated in the programme, it added.
Earlier, following pressures from tribal organisations and civil society groups, the Nagaland assembly passed a resolution to repeal the municipal act, resolving not to hold the elections, which were scheduled to be conducted on May 16 after two decades.
The State Election Commission (SEC) cancelled the elections "till further orders", given the resolution passed in the assembly. The tribal organisations were against the municipal act as it provided for reservation of 33 per cent seats for women and levied taxes on land and buildings.
They claim that these provisions were in contrary to the Article 371A of the Constitution, which grants special powers to Nagaland. The SEC announced elections to the 39 Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in the state earlier this month.
Of the 39 ULBs, Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung have municipal councils, while the rest are town councils.
In 2017, the government had withheld the decision to conduct the election after clashes left two persons dead and several others injured on the eve of the voting.
The clashes also led to the setting ablaze of the Kohima Municipal Council office, and government offices in the state capital and elsewhere.
However, in March last year, representatives from across the Naga society unanimously agreed that elections to ULBs should be held with 33 per cent reservation for women.
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