For the first time in Nagaland, women get 33 percent reservation in local body elections, voting completed

Voting for 25 municipal bodies took place in Nagaland on Wednesday morning amid tight security, an SEC official said. It was a historic election in the northeastern state as voting took place for three municipalities and 22 municipal councils after a gap of 20 years. Nagaland State Election Commission official said the urban local body elections are being held for the first time with 33 per cent women reservation.

The government had announced elections to urban local bodies several times earlier, but the polls were postponed due to objections by tribal bodies and civil society organisations against reservation for women and tax on land and properties. Voting began at 7.30 am and continued till 4 pm

SEC officials said, “The polling has been peaceful so far. Security has been beefed up for the election.” Over 2.23 lakh voters, including 1,13,521 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 523 candidates from 11 political parties. They said voting is being conducted through ballot papers at 420 polling stations instead of EVMs.

The People’s Organisation (ENPO) has decided that it will not participate in the elections in six districts of the region. The ENPO, the apex body of seven Naga tribes living in six eastern districts, is demanding a ‘Frontier Nagaland Area’, claiming that the region has been neglected for years. There are 14 municipal councils in the ENPO area. 59 nominations were accepted from the area, but the tribal bodies forced the candidates to withdraw their nominations. The ENPO also did not participate in the Lok Sabha election on April 19 for the lone seat of the state.

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