Three associations demand amendment Nagaland Municipal Act before holding ULB election
Kohima: Just a day after the State Election Commission (SEC) announced the election to constitute the municipal councils and town councils in Nagaland with 33% reservation of seats for women, municipal associations on Friday reiterated its earlier demand to amend the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 before holding the urban local bodies (ULB) election.
The filing of nomination for the much-delayed ULB election will begin from April 3 before holding the poll on May 16 and declaration of results on the 19th, updated SEC.
Association of Kohima Municipal Ward Panchayat (AKMWP) president Thejao Sekhose told Eastern Mirror on Friday that the AKMWP along with Dimapur Urban Council Chairmen Federation (DUCCF), represented by its president Zasivikho Zakiesato; and All Ward Union Mokokchung Town (AWUNT), represented by president Limanungsang, have submitted a letter to Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, as a reminder about their previous representations.
The letter said certain sections of the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 infringes on Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India, and that the three associations wouldn’t allow or participate in the election process of the municipality in the state until the Act is amended.
The associations said that a series of consultative meetings had been held with various organisations, stakeholders and tribal bodies after the state government sought clarification on “the particular sections, Clause (s) that infringes Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India” and needed to be amended.
Subsequently, the three associations urged the state government to delete (not omit) Section 120 (1) (a) of the Act that refers to “Tax on land and building”; protect social justice under Article 371 (A) and formulate policy for women nominee(s) in the ULB election.
It added that the provision guaranteed to the Naga people under Article 371(A) covers the entire state without differentiation between rural and urban areas.
The Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India provides that no Act of Parliament would apply unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution decides in respect of Naga customary law and procedures, administration of Civil and Criminal justice, ownership and transfer of land, social and religious practices, it stated.
“While considering the gender equality -vis-a-vis Customary laws, the Naga customary law does not allow Women to equally participate in the political and socio-economic decision making. That by amendment of the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 and inserted Rule 23A for reservation of one-third seats for women in the Municipal elections as mandated by Article 243T of the Constitution of India,” read the letter.
“That regarding reservation of seats for women in the Municipality, the State government may formulate a policy for women nominee(s) with voting right in as much as deletion of the provisions provided in the said Act on the Tax on land & buildings and nomination of women in the Municipality is the aspiration and demands of the Nagas,” it added.