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Nagaland ULB elections: NSF underscores importance of ‘indigenous representation’


The NSF advocates for the “exclusion” of women married to non-locals, including their offspring, from contesting in the ULB elections

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

In anticipation of the upcoming Urban Local Body (ULB) elections in Nagaland, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) underscores the paramount importance of indigenous representation.

According to a press statement jointly issued by NSF president, Medovi Rhi, and general secretary, Chumben Khuvung, Nagaland’s democratic landscape evolved becoming imperative to safeguard the interests and aspirations of the indigenous Naga populace thereby as the incumbent has to ensure that the “voices” of the Naga people are not only heard but also authentically represent in decision-making processes.

Central to the NSF’s advocacy is the recognition of ULBs as instrumental platforms for fostering local governance and driving development initiatives within urban areas, the NSF, however, said that this advocacy extends beyond mere participation while underscoring that the imperative of exclusive indigenous representation in electoral contests while asserting that the contestation in the upcoming ULB elections must be reserved solely for indigenous Naga individuals which accordingly is “’Nagas by blood, not by adoption”.

Moreover, the NSF advocates for the “exclusion” of women married to non-locals, including their offspring, from contesting in the ULB elections.

This stance emanates from a deep-seated understanding of the intrinsic connection between governance, culture, and identity, which collectively shape the socio-political landscape of Nagaland, the NSF president said.

Urging all stakeholders, including electoral authorities and citizens to uphold the sanctity of indigenous representation, the NSF emphasizes the need to safeguard the essence of Naga identity and agency in the decision-making process at the local level.

Implying that it is through such concerted efforts that it could ensure the authentic articulation of the Naga people’s aspirations and interests, the NSF mentioned that as guardians of Naga interests, it remains steadfast in its commitment in promoting inclusivity, equality, and the preservation of indigenous rights across all spheres of governance,

It was also learned that the NSF has reaffirmed its collective resolve to nurture a democratic ethos that is rooted in the principles of justice, equity, and empowerment for all.

Talking to this correspondent, NSF president, Medovi Rhi, said that there is not much to be shared about the 33 percent women reservations in the ensuing ULB elections, however, he maintained that as the issue has already been discussed by leaders and the state government, giving a green signal to conduct the election, he opined that the concern has done justice to the women folks.

He, however, said that the candidate (s) should be a Naga by “blood”.

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