Photo: Flickr/IncrediblyNuming (licensed under CC BY 2.0)
The Nagaland government will appeal to the Supreme Court to grant additional time for the conduct of the elections to the urban local bodies (ULBs), which are overdue for the last 12 years.
The decision to this effect was taken during the Nagaland Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio here on Saturday, state government spokesperson and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Planning and Coordination and Land Revenue, Neiba Kronu told reporters.
He said that during the meeting Advocate General K N Balgopal briefed the Cabinet on the Supreme Court's July 29 order directing the state government to conduct the elections of municipal councils to be held by January next year and listed the matter for compliance in February.
Kronu said the Advocate General informed the Cabinet that the apex court has told to complete the process for Municipal and Town Council elections by January.
He said that the Cabinet discussed the feasibility especially about the timing of election because December and January is a festive season for Nagaland and therefore the Cabinet wished if elections can be avoided during that time would be good for all.
As of now, he said, the process of electoral roll for urban local bodies is in progress and it will take some more time because some of the Municipal Councils Dimapur, Mokokchung and Kohima have objected to the conduct of the polls for now.
The three municipal councils through a memorandum submitted to the state government on July 22 had demanded amendment of the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 saying that the Act infringes upon Article 371(A) of the Constitution of India which gives special rights to the people of Nagaland.
If not rectified, the Act will have set a precedent detrimental to the rights of Naga people as enshrined in the Constitution, the municipal bodies had said, while urging the Government of Nagaland to hold the ULB elections at the earliest after due rectification and amendment of the Act.
We are studying the situation as we have to win their (municipal bodies) confidence and also finish the electoral roll process only after which the municipal election will be conducted at the right time, Kronu said.
The minister said the state government will appeal to the Supreme Court (to grant more time to conduct ULB elections) so that the government can take everyone into confidence to avoid the 2017 situation.
After the state government announced the conduct of ULB elections in January 2017 with 33 per cent women reservation, there were public protests which eventually led to killing of two civilians and burning of government offices, including that of Kohima Press Club and damage to public properties.
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First Published: Aug 20 2022 | 7:13 PM IST