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HomenagalandNDPP-BJP alliance returns to power, Nagaland sees women legislators for first time...

NDPP-BJP alliance returns to power, Nagaland sees women legislators for first time in 2023

Kohima: The ruling NDPP-BJP alliance returned to power in Nagaland in this year’s assembly polls, which also saw the election of two women candidates to the House for the first time in the northeastern state’s history.

The state also saw the assembly unanimously passing the Municipal bill seeking to reserve 33% of seats in urban local bodies (ULB) for women, paving the way for civic polls in the state after two decades.

The People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) of the NDPP and BJP won the Nagaland Assembly elections held on February 27 by winning 37 seats in the 60-member House, with Neiphiu Rio becoming the chief minister of the tribal-dominated state for the fifth consecutive term, making him the longest-serving CM of the state.

The alliance bettered its performance from the previous election, when the regional party had won 18 seats while the saffron party had bagged 12 constituencies.

In this year’s assembly polls, two women candidates – Hekhani Jakhalu and Salhoutuonuo Kruse of the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) – were greenhorns but they defeated sitting MLAs in Western Angami and Dimapur-III seats respectively.

The Republican Party of India (Athawale) and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) opened their accounts in the Christian-dominated state by winning two constituencies and one seat respectively in the assembly elections.

All the political parties in the state, including seven NCP legislators and four Independent MLAs, extended unconditional support to the NDPP-BJP dispensation, making it an all-party government for the third time in the state.

The solution to the decades-old Naga political issue, which every political party pronounces as its top priority before every election, went backstage as the state government was yet to form any political affairs committee (PAC) to facilitate negotiating parties to conclude the peace talks.

The Centre has been holding separate negotiations with NSCN-IM since 1997 and the Working Committee of Naga National Political Group (NNPG), comprising at least seven groups, since 2017 to conclude the peace talks.

Eight years have passed since the signing of the Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015 with the NSCN-IM and another six years have gone by following the signing of Agreed Position on November 17, 2017 with WC NNPGs.

With no significant development in the political negotiations between the Centre and the Naga groups, another year is coming to an end with no solution to the Naga political issue.

The Nagaland Assembly on November 9 unanimously passed a bill seeking to reserve 33 per cent of seats in urban local bodies (ULB) for women, resolving a contentious issue and paving the way for municipal elections in the state after two decades.

The CM has said that the apex tribal bodies, which had earlier opposed such a reservation, accepted it and the State Election Commission (SEC) will soon announce the dates for municipal polls.

ULB elections in the northeastern state have been long overdue, with the last civic polls having been held in 2004. Since then, elections were not conducted first due to the unresolved Naga peace talks and then on the issue of 33 per cent reservation for women which the tribal bodies had opposed, asserting it infringes upon the special rights of Nagaland guaranteed under Article 371(A) of the Constitution.

The 10-day Hornbill Festival, the annual tourism promotional event of the state, saw an overall footfall of 1,54,057 visitors, an increase of 13,758 from the previous year.

The tally included 1,14,860 locals, 37,089 domestic tourists and 2,108 foreigners who witnessed the coming together of the 18 tribes of Nagaland at the festival.

(Published 20 December 2023, 06:28 IST)

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