Mokokchung, 16 September (MTNews): A consultative meeting involving three municipalities, namely Dimapur, Kohima, and Mokokchung, and 36 town councils was convened in Mokokchung on Saturday. During the meeting, four resolutions were adopted with the state’s development in mind, particularly in view of the upcoming Supreme Court hearing scheduled for 26 September.
The meeting was held at Hotel Whispering Winds, DC Hill, Mokokchung just few days after the Nagaland Legislative Assembly introduced the Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023 and referred it to a select committee. It was later revealed in a press conference that the meeting had adopted a four-point resolution.
One of the resolution points appreciated the “knowledge” of the government, tribal hohos, women’s organizations, student bodies, and various political parties for “acceptance of the resolution to go ahead for election” to the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) with the newly drafted Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023. This decision was made while awaiting the Supreme Court’s verdict in the civil suit titled “Government of Nagaland Vrs People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL),” which revolves around objections to terms like “Deleted, Deletion, Omit” and concerns related to land and building taxes. This matter is still pending before the Supreme Court.
Reflecting on previous consultative meetings convened by the Nagaland government on 9 March 2022 and 1 September 2023, the meeting resolved to “abide by the wisdom and decision of the Tribal Hohos in conducting the election of ULBs.”
Additionally, the three municipalities and town councils appealed to the tribal hohos to “identify individuals or organizations who are detrimental to the protection and preservation of Article 371 (A) by initiating certain precautionary measures in the interest of the Nagas.”
The meeting further resolved to appeal to the select committee to delete sections or clauses within the Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023 that could infringe upon Article 371 (A) before the Bill becomes an Act. Further, they resolved to hold another consultative meeting “after the Bill becomes an Act.”
During the press conference, the President of Association of Kohima Municipal Wards Panchayat (AKMWP), Thejao Sekhose, conveyed their strong stance against land and building taxes. He emphasized that they are determined to oppose any measures that could compromise the Naga land holding system. Notably, Mr Sekhose pointed out that they were not invited to the two previous consultative meetings held by the state government.