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Civic body forum ultimatum to Govt.
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, Feb 23 (NPN):
Published on 24 Feb. 2010 12:31 AM IST
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Coming out strongly against the state government’s decision to withhold municipal and town council elections indefinitely, the municipal and town councilors under the forum of All Nagaland Municipal and Town Councils Forum (ANMTCF) met at Hotel Saramati here today and issued a three-day ultimatum on the government. The ANMTCF after its meeting asked the government to clarify on three basic points regarding non-inclusion of former councilors in the Advisory Committee, the terms of reference pertaining to the powers and functions of the Committee and announcing early elections to the to civic bodies. The Forum demanded to know that when they had done their best in serving the public why were they barred from being included in the Advisory Committee through a clause. The forum also said that despite all members having given unstinted support and co-operation to the present government, it has instead undermined the best efforts of the councilors rather than acknowledging their contributions. “It can be rather interpreted to insinuate that the councillors had committed culpable deeds and are being penalized” the Forum claimed. The points raised by the Forum were contained in a press note issued to the media and which included the following points: 1. Whether the govt. was of the opinion that councilors had failed to perform their duties or had committed culpable offences giving grounds to bar them from manning the civic bodies again. If not, the govt. is requested to clarify the reason(s) behind the decision of not including the incumbent councilors. 2. To clearly specify the terms of reference of the Advisory Board, especially the powers and functions and duration of office and as to when the next election to the civic bodies shall be held. 3. The forum strongly feels that when the members are devoid the opportunity to serve the public and when elections to the civic bodies are deferred indefinitely it tantamount to infringement of citizens’ right to pursue their aspiration and can be deemed as unconstitutional. Therefore, the Forum opined that in such a scenario elections should be held at the earliest. 4. Members of the forum opined that when all the efforts, contributions and support to the present government and the public were being undermined, there was no point being a part of such government. 5. In view of the above mentioned points the Forum asked the government to clarify or redress the matter within three days from the date of the publication of the press note. Later at a press conference after the meeting, Convener of the ANMTCF, Khekaho Assumi asserted that all the Municipal and town councils were “hard core pro government” but have been pushed into taking the decision that it was not worth to be part of the present government. “We are not footballs to be kicked around” he said . On being asked to clarify whether it meant a decision to change party , Assumi replied that there were plenty of “ options” though the councilors were more concerned about bringing development to the ‘aam admi’. On the issue of the notification for 33% reservation for women in town and municipal councils, the convener of ANMTCF maintained that the Forum was “tooth and nail” against implementation of the women reservation. Co-convener, ANMTCF and former chairman of the Kohima Municipal Council Vipopal Kintso also pointed out that the Forum had earlier submitted three memorandums to the government through the concerned Ministers and officials but there had been no response. The Forum members also asserted that “many options were available” if the government failed to respond to their demands. With only the scheduled dissolutions of the Medziphema and Tseminyu town councils on March 7 and Naganimora Town Council on March 9 left, there has strong objections from all the councils regarding the decision of the government. Meanwhile the Forum also congratulated its convener Khekaho Assumi on receiving the “Glory of India” award from the India International Friendship Society at New Delhi recently.

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