The long held demand of tribal hohos in Nagaland to revoke the Assembly Resolution passed by the present NPF government on 24th November, 2016, which had paved the way for holding Urban Local Body elections with 33% women reservation, has finally succeeded with Chief Minister TR Zeliang moving for introduction of a Resolution in the House to revoke the earlier resolution. The new resolution was moved by the Chief Minister during the 19th Session of the 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on December 14, 2017.
The NLA had on November 24, 2016 revoked a resolution passed by it in 2012 to exempt the state from implementing 33 per cent women reservation in municipalities, a constitutional provision. The 2012 resolution was revoked after Naga Mothers Association’s (NMA) moved the Supreme Court against it. This had paved the way for the holding of elections to town and municipal councils in Nagaland with 33% women reservation. The motion to revoke the 2012 resolution had been moved by then Parliamentary Secretary for Municipal Affairs, Economics & Statistics, R Tohanba and the House adopted the resolution.
Interestingly, the Naga Hoho during that time had warned and predicted that the revocation of the September 22, 2012 resolution was “bound to bring severe social unrest and disharmony among different Naga tribes while imposing various provisions under the Constitution of India by discarding the rights of the Naga people guaranteed under Article 371A of Indian Constitution”.
The Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) which led the protest against holding ULB polls with 33% women reservation and the tribal hohos that backed the protest had been demanding from the government to revoke the November 24, 2016 resolution. As a result of the government going ahead with the ULB polls, violent protest had erupted in Nagaland leading to the resignation of then Chief Minister TR Zeliang. Later the ULB polls were also cancelled.
And even though several months had passed, the present NPF government had not taken the initiative to revoke the November 24, 2016 resolution despite several reminders from the JCC and tribal hohos. The JCC and tribal hohos have been appealing to the State Government to take up the matter on priority and revoke the infamous resolution as the same is “against the wishes and interest of the people of Nagaland.”
Tribal hohos of Nagaland had recently resolved not to attend any consultative meeting called by the government of Nagaland until and unless the Nagaland Legislative Assembly revoke November 24, 2016 resolution, which had allowed holding of ULB polls with 33% women reservation. The resolution was adopted at a meeting of the tribal hohos of Nagas of Nagaland, which was held at the Angami Public Organisation (APO) hall, Kohima on October 31.
Now with the NLA revoking the November 24, 2016 resolution, it will be interesting to observe whether the present government will reintroduce the letter and spirit of the September 22, 2012 Assembly resolution, which had exempted Nagaland from the application of Article 243(T), Part IX A of the Constitution, dealing with reservation of seats in municipalities. At that time in 2012 the House had been of the opinion that the Article infringed upon Art 371A which deals with certain special provisions with respect to the state of Nagaland.
Naga Republic News with inputs from DIPR