Advisor to Nagaland Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Zhaleo Rio on Tuesday said that the state government would conduct the Urban Local Body (ULB) election as notified.
"The members had an informal discussion on the ULB issue. The Government has prepared to conduct the ULB election that's why the concerned have been notified. however, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio will issue a statement on that matter," Rio said while speaking to the reporters after an hour-long deliberation of all elected members at the State Assembly Secretariat in Kohima on Tuesday.
The state government had earlier notified that the general election to the ULBs with 33 per cent seat reservation for women will be held on May 16 as the nomination filing will be from April 3-10.
The Urban Local Bodies ULB elections saw a major setback in the state in 2017, when two persons were killed in police firing and government buildings were burnt down with the Naga tribal bodies opposing the conduct of the Urban Local Bodies election.
Notably, the Supreme Court however has issued an order on 13 February 2023 in accordance with the 74th Amendment of the Constitution that stipulates 33 per cent reservation for women in ULBs directing the State Government to issue the notification for elections to the ULBs by 9th March 2023 and under which the State Election Commission issued notification for the ULB election with the polls scheduled on 16th May 2023.
During the "informal" discussion, Zhaleo said members were informed about the state government's position.
"As the concerned department had issued clarifications after several objections, the Nagaland government stands by the notification," he said.
When asked if a discussion on the matter will be held during the ongoing state Assembly session, the legislator said that Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio may speak on the assembly floor of the house.
On the question of many confusions which have cropped up with the issue as more civil societies and organisations have come forward opposing the conduct of elections, Zhaleo Rio said that the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs have given clarification on the points relating to tax on land and building, and stick and stand by the notification issued on 18th March 2023.
Leaders of the municipal councils and town councils also held a crucial consultative meeting in Kohima.
The meeting was jointly convened by the Association of Kohima Municipal Ward Panchayat (AKMWP), All Ward Union Mokokchung Town (AWUMT) and the Dimapur Urban Council Chairman Federation (DUCCF) was attended by 23 Town councils besides the three municipal councils and urged the Government of Nagaland to review or redraft the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001, according to its applicability with living standards of Nagaland and taking into consideration of the social, customary and traditional practice of the Naga's before the government conducts the election to Urban Local Bodies.
"The meeting deliberated on the main issue on taxation on property ie, tax on land and building, while stating that the government has given them the reply on the 10th of March, that 'omission', 'omitted' and 'deleted' are the three words that carry the same meaning, and on the pretext of it, the council wrote a memorandum to the government regarding the clarification of the three words," DUCCF President Zasivikho Zakiesato told journalists after the meeting.
He further said that the stand of the Town Council is that in regard to tax on land and building, the house wants it to be deleted and this is the demand from the three municipalities and the thirty-six town councils. (ANI)