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Local civic elections overdue in Nagaland: CM

 KOHIMA, April 4 - Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang on Sunday said elections to the Municipal and Town Councils in the State has been long overdue as the tenure of the first municipal bodies came to an end between December 2009 and March 2010.

Election to the urban local bodies (ULBs) in the State has been pending in the wake of the ongoing case filed in the Supreme Court by Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) demanding 33 per cent reservation for women in Municipal and Town Councils.

After the creation of the new department for Municipal Affairs last year, talks were initiated at the government level with the NMA to resolve the matter outside the court, Zeliang said during the inauguration of Meluri Town Council in Phek district

yesterday.

He said that in the past meetings between the government and the NMA, the government had offered 15 per cent reservation for women but presently the government is willing to raise it to 25 per cent for women with full voting rights on an experimental basis and may raise it further if the arrangement proves to be successful.

The CM rued that since the matter is pending in the court, the State Government is not able to avail Rs 40 crore sanctioned by Centre for

the ULBs.

“Upgradation of Town Councils will not benefit the people of the towns much if the court issue is not resolved at the earliest and we will continue to lose out on funds meant for the ULBs,” he said while appealing to the Naga women’s body to withdraw the case from the Supreme Court. – PTI

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