Nagaland mulling Municipal Act rewrite to hold polls

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Kohima, June 15 (IANS) Nagaland is mulling to re-write its Municipal Act so that the election to the Urban Local Bodies could be conducted smoothly, Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu said on Thursday.

Elections to urban local bodies in Nagaland were cancelled in February following violent protests by tribal groups which opposed the provision of 33 per cent reservation for women. That had also forced Liezietsu’s predecessor T.R. Zeliang to quit office.

“Nagaland government alone cannot be exempted from the Municipal Act with women’s reservation since the 94th Amendment was passed by the Indian Parliament way back in the early 1990s,” Liezietsu said.

K.T. Vilie, Convenor of the Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) — a joint platform of tribal organisation — had said that they were not opposed to women contesting elections, but were against “a process that infringes upon Naga tradition and custom”.

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However, the Chief Minister said that since various civil societies have opposed the Nagaland Municipal Act, the government will re-amend the legislation so that election to the urban local bodies could be held and the municipalities functioned smoothly.

“People expect many developmental activities from the government but unless there is peace in our society, we cannot expect development to take place,” he said, calling upon the people to maintain peace and march together for the state’s development.

Nagaland has never elected a woman legislator since it gained statehood in 1963. The lone woman member of Parliament from the state was Rano M. Shaiza, who got elected in 1977.



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