The Nagaland Assembly on November 9, 2023 unanimously passed a bill to reserve 33 percent seats for women in urban local bodies (ULBs).
With the passing of this bill, a long standing controversial issue in the state was resolved.
Paved the way for municipal elections:
- The way has now been paved for municipal elections in Nagaland after two decades.
- According to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, a provision has been made in the bill to provide one-third reservation for women in urban local bodies as per the direction of the Supreme Court.
- Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the apex tribal body, which had earlier opposed such reservation, has also now accepted it and the State Election Commission (SEC) would soon announce the dates for the municipal elections.
ULB elections were last held in Nagaland in the year 2004:
- According to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, now the time has come for women to participate in the administration of urban local bodies.
- It is noteworthy that the elections of urban local bodies in the North-Eastern states are pending for a long time, the last elections were held here in the year 2004.
- Several attempts were made over the last two decades to conduct ULB elections in Nagaland but the government faced some unfortunate incidents which led to the drafting of the present Nagaland Municipal Bodies Bill, 2023.
Provisions related to land and building tax were excluded in bill:
- On the passing of this bill, major civil society organizations, 'Naga Mothers Association' and women MLAs expressed happiness over the passing of the bill.
- Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, presenting the Nagaland Municipal Bodies Bill 2023, stated that the new bill excludes provisions related to taxes on land and buildings during the session in the House.
- According to this Bill, the provision of reservation of one-third of seats in ULBs for women has been kept in view of the clear directions of the Supreme Court and its acceptance by the apex tribal bodies in the state.
- However, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that the provision of one-third reservation for women in the posts of chairpersons in ULBs, which was earlier in the Municipal Bodies Act, had not been included in the relevant bill.
Review will be done every ten years:
- A recommendation has been made to limit membership in any municipality or city council to only native residents of the state.
- There is also a provision that the Municipal Act should be reviewed from time to time after every ten years. Now there are 39 urban local bodies in the state.
- Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that we had to provide the necessary urban infrastructure and urban amenities to this growing urban population through local self-government.
Governor: La Ganesan
Chief Minister: Neiphiu Rio