Nagaland’s Tribal Bodies Oppose 33% Reservation for Women in ULB Elections

Women in politics: Nagaland deadlock remains despite electing two women  MLAs for the first time | Deccan Herald
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Nagaland created history, with the election of its first women MLAs, Hekani Jakhalu and Salhoutuonuo Kruse. Kruse made history again when she was appointed as the state’s first woman minister, responsible for women’s resource development and horticulture, in the NDPP-BJP coalition government’s second term. However, Nagaland’s plans to hold elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) on May 16 with 33% reservation for women have been met with resistance from tribal organizations. The 74th Amendment of the Constitution and a Supreme Court order in July 2022 mandate these reservations.

Tribal Hohos, the apex bodies of several Naga tribes, have adopted a resolution calling for the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 to be “reviewed and rewritten” because it infringes Article 371-A, which prohibits the implementation of Parliament’s Acts without the State Assembly’s resolution.

The resolution argues that the provision of reserving the office of Chairperson for women is a “deprivation provision” and unacceptable, and suggests that the 33% reservation for women should be limited to two tenures.

Women’s organizations in the state have appealed that the special provisions under Article 371(A) should not be applied to deny reservation to women, as low participation of women in elections has remained a concern in the tribal state.

The Nagaland Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution to repeal or review the Municipal Act to address the tribal Hohos’ concerns. The decision comes after a similar move in 2016 led to large-scale violence, with tribal bodies opposing reservations without repealing the Act. The possibility of further stalling the ULB elections remains as the tribal Hohos continue to oppose the 33% reservation for women.

Staff Reporter

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