Nagaland to hold civic polls after 20 years, with 33% reservation for women on June 26

Authorities imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in Dimapur, Chumoukedima, and Niuland districts from 5 pm on June 25 till 7 pm on June 27.
The state labour commissioner declared June 26 as a paid holiday for all workers engaged in commercial and industrial establishments in the state to enable them to exercise their franchise.
The state labour commissioner declared June 26 as a paid holiday for all workers engaged in commercial and industrial establishments in the state to enable them to exercise their franchise.(Photo | PTI)

GUWAHATI: Nagaland’s urban local body (ULB) elections will be held on Wednesday after a gap of 20 years. This is the first time the polls in the state will be held with 33 per cent reservation for women.

On the eve of the polls, authorities imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in Dimapur, Chumoukedima, and Niuland districts from 5 pm on June 25 till 7 pm on June 27.

The orders were issued following apprehensions of a breach of peace and threats to public tranquillity, which might affect the peaceful conduct of the ULB elections.

The state has three municipal and 36 town councils. Altogether, 64 candidates were elected uncontested in different municipal and town councils, and another 253 candidates are in the fray.

The state labour commissioner declared June 26 as a paid holiday for all workers engaged in commercial and industrial establishments in the state to enable them to exercise their franchise.

The state labour commissioner declared June 26 as a paid holiday for all workers engaged in commercial and industrial establishments in the state to enable them to exercise their franchise.
Ready to implement 33 per cent reservation for women in civic bodies: Nagaland

To ensure free and fair elections, the influential Nagaland Baptist Church Council appealed for “one person, one vote, and vote without influence.”

Nagaland enacted its Municipal Act in 2001, and the first ULB elections were held in 2004 without reservation for women. The government issued a notification for the next ULB polls in 2012, but they could not be held following objections from tribal bodies, which opposed the quota and certain clauses in the Municipal Act.

In September the same year, the Assembly passed a resolution to exempt the state from the Constitution’s Article 243T, which deals with the quota for women, but revoked it in 2016.

In 2017, the state government attempted to hold polls with 33 per cent reservation for women, but it backfired.

Protesters attacked and set ablaze government buildings in parts of the state. Powerful tribal organisations contended that reservation for women was an infringement on Naga customary laws, as enshrined in Article 371(A) of the Constitution, which protects the state’s traditional way of life.

In the wake of the violence, the then Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang had to resign, and the state government declared the poll process null and void. Later, a few women’s organisations moved the High Court and then the Supreme Court regarding the matter.

Last year, the apex court directed the Nagaland State Election Commission to notify the polls and hold them with a 33 per cent quota for women. The state government paved the way for the polls by making certain amendments to the Municipal Act.

The state labour commissioner declared June 26 as a paid holiday for all workers engaged in commercial and industrial establishments in the state to enable them to exercise their franchise.
Centre not willing to implement Constitution: SC on delay in quota for women in Nagaland civic polls

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