The third session (Emergent Session) of the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on Thursday discussed the 'Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023' that includes 33 per cent reservation for women.
Nagaland deputy chief minister and convener of the Select Committee, TR Zeliang, expressed his support for the bill. He highlighted that after thorough deliberation with other elected members of the committee, the chief secretary, department officials, and the apex civil society organisations, they recommended the bill to be passed in the Assembly.
Zeliang expressed his happiness that the bill includes a 33 per cent reservation for women, which he believes will empower women to become elected representatives in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and contribute to the decision-making process for municipalities and towns. He urged women to support the bill and not let the reservation for the post of chairperson be a bottleneck in the implementation of ULB elections.
TR Zeliang also appealed to the public to support the bill, emphasising that it is crucial for the all-round development of towns and the state as a whole. He officially gave his consent in support of the bill to be passed in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
Er Picto Shohe of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also participated in the discussion and appreciated the bill, emphasising that it would benefit not only women but the entire state. He called on the people to support the bill and hoped for a peaceful conduct of elections across the state.
Jwenga Seb of the JDU participated in the discussion, highlighted that the unanimous passing of the bill reflects the progressive mindset and aspirations of the people. He stressed the importance of the bill in achieving gender equality and creating an inclusive society.
Imkong L Imchen, on behalf of the BJP Legislature Party, expressed support for the bill, acknowledging the extensive consultative process that led to the introduction of the Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023.
NukluToshi of the NPP expressed gratitude to Naga political leaders for recognizing the importance of the bill after a lapse of 22 years, during which the state incurred losses for town and municipal development.
KG Kenye described the day as a red-letter day for all tribal bodies, civil society organisations, and the 60 members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly who supported the Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023. He appreciated Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for advocating for gender equality through the bill's provision for 33 per cent women's reservation.
Other participants in the discussion, including Achumbemo Kikon (NPF), Dr Sukhato A Sema (LJP), Kevipodi Sophie (Independent), Y Lima Onen Chang (RPI), and T N Manen (NDPP), expressed their views and observations in support of the bill.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, in his concluding remarks, highlighted the importance of women's participation in the administration of urban local bodies. He expressed hope for positive and meaningful results, as urbanization in Nagaland has been rapidly increasing. Rio regretted the delay in reaching a consensus on ULBs but was optimistic that the passage of the new Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023, would lead to better administration, development, organization, cleanliness, and beauty in cities and towns.
Rio expressed gratitude to all members who actively participated in the discussions and shared their views and observations on the bill. He also provided insights into the circumstances that led to the drafting of the Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023.