Khetoli fights to keep women quota in Municipals

Dimapur, December 30 (MExN): A sense of satisfaction writs large on the face of Khetoli Chishi, Vice-President of NPF  Women’s Wing. The reason is that Khetoli has positioned herself as one of the rare women politicians in a male dominated political landscape. But the road to acceptance has not been an easy one with hurdles strewn along her way and she has had to single handedly fight off the reluctance of the male dominated political hierarchy to give women their due in Nagaland’s politics. 

Meeting a section of the local press today, Khetoli informed about the implementation of the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 but not before she had to file a writ petition in the High Court, Guwahati challenging ‘Section 9 and 12’ of Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 which she had argued was illegal and contrary to the Constitution of India.

Addressing a press conference here at Dimapur, Khetoli Chishi produced the writ petition to the media persons where it was mentioned that during the course of argument in the High Court, Guwahati, it transpired that the State had already amended the relevant provisions of the Act of 2001 by enacting the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Act, 2006 wherein the provisions for reservation of SC, ST and Women have been made. In view of this development, the writ petition appear to have become ‘infructuous’. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed as ‘infructuous’ by the High Court.

“It is expected that the State of Nagaland shall take all steps for constitution of the Municipality in accordance with the provisions of the Act of 2006 at an early date,” the writ petition stated.

The Urban Development Department, Municipal Administrative Cell, in its letter to Khetoli Chishi, stated that the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001, has been amended for provision of reservation of ST/SC/Women.

“In this regard, the State Government has already notified the number of wards reserved for ST/SC/Women and also the allotment of wards by rotation in each Municipal/Town Councils. However, it cannot be implemented as some of the sitting members of the Municipal/Town Councils file a writ petition challenging the provision of the amendment act. The matter has been sub-judiced in the court,” the letter stated.

In an official notification, the Governor of Nagaland, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Act, 2006, has ordered that the number of wards reserved for SC/ST/Women in the Municipal Councils and the Town Councils in the State shall be as follows, the Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) has 23 wards and three (3) wards are reserved for women while the Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) has 19 wards, out of that 5 wards are reserved for women and the Mokokchung Municipal Council (MMC) has 15 wards, out of that 4 are reserved for women.