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Nagaland: State Govt decided nominations not elections to ULBs

To avoid another showdown over the contentious issue of 33 percent women reservation in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), the state govt has decided to nominate members to ULBs in a 70:30 ratio, with 70 male and 30 female representatives, for an interim period.

Minister of planning, coordination, parliamentary affairs, and land revenue Neiba Kronu revealed this during a press conference here on Tuesday. According to Kronu, the State government has formed a committee to review the Nagaland Municipal Act in terms of women reservation and whether it violates Article 371. (A). He stated that the government would consider the committee’s recommendations and make a decision only after the committee’s report is submitted. However, because the committee may take some time to study the issue before submitting its report, Kronu said the government has decided to appoint nominated members to run the ULBs in the interim. He also stated that the Department of Urban Development would work out the details of the nomination system.

Kronu said the nascent party had begun attacking the government over the non-inclusion of women representatives in the committee even before the notification was issued, in response to a recent statement by the Rising People’s Party (RPP). He noted that the government had already appointed two women to the panel: Nagaland University professor Rosemary Dzüvichu and Secretary of State for Science and Technology Sotsula.

The panel will be chaired by the chief secretary and will include members from the Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC), Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO), and Tenyimi Public Organisation (TPO), as previously reported in this newspaper. It was also reported that chief minister Neiphiu Rio met with representatives from the CNTC, TPO, and ENPO on October 20 to discuss the contentious issue, after which the committee was formed.

He claimed that the state govt was serious about the issue of women’s reservations and that it had briefed civil society groups and tribal hohos on the subject on a regular basis.

The issue of the Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) could not be resolved at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, according to Kronu. He, on the other hand, stated that talks with the Eastern Nagaland Students’ Federation (ENSF) were ongoing and expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved.

On Monday, the ENSF reaffirmed its order from September 16, 2020, prohibiting candidates from eastern Nagaland from applying for the NSSB until the state government addressed its “genuine and legitimate demands.”

Refugees from Myanmar are flooding into Nagaland, according to Kronu, who expressed gratitude to civil society organisations and churches for providing them with shelter. He claimed that some refugees had arrived in Mon district, though the exact number could not be confirmed at this time. Kronu also stated that the state government will make a decision on how to handle the refugees in the near future.

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