Nagaland to hold civic polls after 20 years, adds women’s quota

The reservation policy triggered violent protests in 2017, leading to the death of two people

April 27, 2024 08:02 pm | Updated April 28, 2024 01:38 am IST - GUWAHATI

Nagaland State Election Commissioner T. John Longkumer. On April 27, 2024, Nagaland’s Municipal Affairs Department said that the State Election Commission approved the election schedule, which specified the number of wards reserved for women on rotation as mandated by the Nagaland Municipal Act of 2023. Photo: ipr.nagaland.gov.in

Nagaland State Election Commissioner T. John Longkumer. On April 27, 2024, Nagaland’s Municipal Affairs Department said that the State Election Commission approved the election schedule, which specified the number of wards reserved for women on rotation as mandated by the Nagaland Municipal Act of 2023. Photo: ipr.nagaland.gov.in

GUWAHATI The Nagaland Cabinet has approved the elections to the urban local bodies (ULBs) with 33% of the seats reserved for women.

Scheduled on June 26, it will be the first-ever municipal elections in the State with a quota for women. The last ULB polls were held in 2004.

On April 27, Nagaland’s Municipal Affairs Department said that the State Election Commission approved the election schedule, which specified the number of wards reserved for women on rotation as mandated by the Nagaland Municipal Act of 2023.

According to the schedule, nominations can be filed from June 7-11 and the last date of withdrawal of candidature will be June 20. After the polls on June 26 and re-polls, if needed, on June 28, the votes will be counted and declared on June 29.

Nagaland has three municipal councils – Dimapur, Kohima, and Mokokchung – and 36 town councils. Six of the 19 wards in Kohima, eight out of 23 wards in Dimapur, and six out of 18 wards in Mokokchung have been reserved for women.

The Nagaland Municipal and Town Council Act was passed in 2001 without the provision of reserving 33% of the seats for women, as required under Article 243T of the Constitution. This was amended in 2006.

The first election under the Act was conducted in 2004 without the reservation of seats for women, except in Mokokchung, as it was deemed to infringe upon the special provisions granted to Nagaland under Article 371A of the Constitution.

Efforts to hold the ULB polls with a 33% quota for women after 2004 met with resistance from social and apex tribal groups. The decision to hold the elections in 2017 triggered violent protests, claiming two lives while government properties were damaged across the State.

The 60-member State Assembly passed the Nagaland Municipal Act of 2023 on November 9, 2023, following which the Supreme Court directed the State government to complete the electoral process for the ULBs by April.

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