New Year Old Issues - Eastern Mirror
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New Year Old Issues

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 03, 2017 12:36 am

Another year dawns and after the usual niceties of wishes and greetings the people of the state will be back to the same old issues left behind from the previous years. Much of the baggage of last year’s seems to have been brought over in to the current year since there have been negligible resolution of issues from the previous year. Along with the many issues like the non-payment of salaries, illegal appointments in government departments, allegations of scams in Public Distribution System, fuel adulteration due to siphoning of Kerosene oil meant for PDS etc. the one big issue to rock the New Year will be the opposition to the 33% women reservation in the forthcoming municipal elections.

Some organisations had already voiced out their opposition to the municipal elections in the current form at the end of the year and are expected to intensify their demands. After the hurried manner of the government issuing the official notification for the conduct of elections to the urban local bodies on December 21 even before the assent of the Governor , who gave his assent only on December 28, many of the organisations were unable to react to it. However, the notification had set the date for commencement of filing of nomination from January 3 2017, and so the next few days will see the different organisations voicing for and against it with the latter expected to be the loudest. The government may have to do a rethink if it is wise to bulldoze its intention to conduct the municipal elections without the consent of a majority of the tribal organisations. The government was not clear on its explanation and was not able to remove the air of insecurity that was created on the minds of the majority of Naga men when the polls were announced.

The government is silent of The Constitution (112th Amendment) Bill, 2009 that seeks for one half (50%)reservation of total seats in the Municipality for women of scheduled tribes and scheduled castes. Though it still cannot be passed in the parliament, there are high chances of it being introduced again. The government did not explain why Part IX(A) of the constitution is not applicable in those scheduled areas that comes under the Fifth Schedule and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution but it is being implemented in Nagaland, a state that is almost cent per cent tribal. The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, 2008 or popularly known as the Women’s Reservation Bill, though lapsed at the moment, was proposed to amend the Constitution to reserve 33% of all seats in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assemblies. The government is yet to explain whether a different yardstick will be used if such a bill is passed in the parliament so that the Naga men are rest assured. Instead of assuring the men folk that the village councils will not be affected, the government instead tried to leverage the reservation in urban councils as a precursor to reservation in the municipal and the town councils. Reservation for women is required and it is also time the Naga men need to agree to it, but the approach of the government in the present case was more of bungling of the whole process.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 03, 2017 12:36:35 am
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