Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang on Friday said implementation of 33 per cent reservation for women in local urban bodies of the state will not affect Naga customary practices in the state.
“Thirty-three per cent reservation for women in the local urban bodies will not affect the Naga customary practices, as even in wards and colonies of urban areas, traditional Naga practices can be enforced and maintained by respective wards/ colony councils,” said Zeliang.
The Chief Minister was speaking at the Silver Jubilee celebration of Mangkolemba township and the inaugural programme of Mangkolemba Town Council in Mokokchung in Nagaland. According to some civil societies of Nagaland, 33 per cent reservation for women in the local urban bodies would impact adversely the Naga customary laws.
“If we say that men and women are equal and that women do not need reservation of seats, why is it that we have not had a single woman legislator in the Assembly for so many decades,” asked Zeliang.
He further said: “The government has resolved to implement what was decided in 2001 and 2006, when the Nagaland Municipal Act was passed and amended later to incorporate 33 per cent reservation for women instead of waiting for the court verdict.”
Apprehensions that reservation of 33 per cent of the seats in local urban bodies would infringe on Article 371A and on Naga customary and traditional practices are not true, he said. “Nagas will continue to follow the Nagaland Village Councils Act and reservation of 25 per cent of funds of the Village Development Boards for women is being implemented for more than 15 years or so,” Zeliang said.