Mokokchung, 26 April (MTNews): The Nagaland government on Friday approved to conduct urban local bodies (ULB) elections in the state with reservation for women on 26 June.

The administrative approval was given by the state Cabinet during its meeting held today, stated a letter issued by the Municipal Affairs Department to the State Election Commissioner.

This will be the first-ever ULB elections in the state to be held with 33 percent reservation for women.

The government had announced the conduct of the elections to ULBs several times but objections from tribal bodies and civil society organizations against the 33 per cent women reservation and tax on land and properties had held back the polls, according to a PTI report.

In 2017, when the state government led by T R Zeliang tried to hold the elections, there was violence. Two persons were killed and government properties and offices were damaged. It also led to the fall of the Zeliang ministry, the PTI report said.

The Neiphiu Rio-led all-party government in March last year also announced the conduct of an election with 33 per cent women reservation as directed by the Supreme Court.

However, following stiff resistance, the government cancelled the elections and also repealed the Nagaland Municipal Act of 2001 in March 2023.

Subsequently, the Assembly passed the new Nagaland Municipal Act 2023 with 33 per cent women reservation in November.

The State Election Commission has revised and updated the Electoral Roll for all 39 Municipal and Town councils for the conduct of elections to constitute Municipal and Town Councils in the state with a view to accommodate the subsequent changes in the roll after November 2022, the PTI report added.

Municipal elections in Nagaland were last held in the state in 2004.

As per the Municipal Affairs Department’s letter to the State Election Commission, the election program will be published on 29 April and the filing of nomination will be from 7 to 11 June. Following this, the list of validly presented nomination papers shall be posted on 12 June and the scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on 13 June followed by the publication of validly nominated candidates on 14 June.

Application for revision of the order of the authority scrutinizing the nomination will be done from 15 to 18 June and the revision of application filed shall be decided on 19 June.

The last date for withdrawal of candidates will be 20 June and the list of contesting candidates and polling stations will also be posted on 20 June.

The date of poll is scheduled for 26 June and re-poll, if any, will be held on 28 June while the counting and declaration of results will be on 29 June.

The ULB elections will be held with reservation of wards on rota for women in the municipal and town councils as per Section 9 and Section 21 of the Nagaland Municipal Act 2023.

For Mokokchung Municipal Council, 6 of the 18 wards will be reserved for women on rotation. The wards reserved for women are 1,4,7,10,13, and 16. As per a 2018 MMC notification, the reserved wards are Alempang, Artang, Kumlong, Sunbgkomen, Penli, and Marepkong.

Other ULBs under Mokokchung district heading for polls are Changtongya Town Council, Mangkolemba Town Council, and Tuli Town Council.

In Changtongya, four of the 11 wards are reserved for women (wards 1, 4, 7, and 10), while in Mangkolemba, three of the nine wards (wards 1, 4, and 7) are reserved for women. Similarly, in Tuli, three of the nine wards (wards 1, 4, and 7) are reserved for women.

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