Nagaland civic polls: Women candidates outnumber men in Kohima; 238 in fray overall | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Nagaland civic polls: Women candidates outnumber men in Kohima; 238 in fray overall

ByAlice Yhoshu
Jun 12, 2024 04:22 PM IST

The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has fielded the highest number of candidates (256) including 96 women

Women candidates (24) in the fray for the June 26 urban local bodies (ULB) in Nagaland outnumber men (17) in the state capital Kohima. Overall, 238 women or over 35% of 669 candidates are contesting the polls being held in the state for the first time since 2004.

The state government in April assured the Supreme Court that the civic elections would be held with a 33% quota for women. (ANI/Representative)
The state government in April assured the Supreme Court that the civic elections would be held with a 33% quota for women. (ANI/Representative)

In April, the state government assured the Supreme Court that the elections to the state’s 36 councils would be held with a 33% quota for women by June 2024. The assurance came in response to a People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) plea.

The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has fielded the highest number of candidates (256) including 96 women. Seventy-five women are contesting as independents.

As many as 23 women have filed their nominations in Mon, Longleng, Shamator, and Kiphire districts, where an umbrella body of tribal groups boycotts central and state elections to press for its demand for an autonomous territory. People in these six eastern districts abstained from the April 19 parliamentary elections.

Rosemary Dzuvichu, who spearheaded the fight for the implementation of the quota for women in civic bodies, said the participation of women candidates in reserved and unreserved wards is an important phase for Naga women. “After 20-plus years, the outcome of the ULB elections will herald the development of our towns. The active participation of women in urban decision-making bodies is what we envisioned when we formed the Joint Action Committee on Women’s Reservation (JAWCR). Our struggle has been long but worthwhile.”

Aleno Nienu, 50, a single mother of four contesting from a reserved ward in Phek town as a Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate, said the women who get elected irrespective of political affiliation should remember that women’s quota was brought about with much sacrifice. “We should respect the privilege and strive to give our best to our communities,” she said.

Nienu said the state faced violence from those who opposed reservation while thanking the Naga Mothers Association, which formed JACWR to fight for 33% women reservation.

“I am also grateful to the state government for implementing women’s reservation and enabling this opportunity,” said Nienu, who is contesting against an NDPP candidate.

Thenusoü Sekhose Yhome, who is contesting a general seat in Kohima on an NDPP ticket, said Nagaland’s towns have missed a lot of opportunities due to the almost two-decade struggle for women’s reservation.

Tokheli, who was the first woman chairperson of a village council in Nagaland and is contesting a general ward in Dimapur, said reservation or no reservation she cannot abandon her supporters.

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