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S Phangnon, the Only Naga Woman MP, Nominated as Vice Chairperson of Rajya Sabha

S Phangnon

S Phangnon Konyak, Sole Nagaland MP, Appointed as Vice Chairperson of Rajya Sabha. A momentous milestone has been achieved as S Phangnon Konyak, the only Member of Parliament from Nagaland in the Upper House, has been appointed as one of the vice chairpersons of the Rajya Sabha.

This historic nomination serves as a testament to the BJP’s unwavering dedication to women’s empowerment. The decision not only acknowledges Phangnon’s individual merit but also represents a significant step towards gender inclusivity in Indian politics. Her appointment to this prestigious position is set to inspire and pave the way for more women leaders to take on prominent roles in the country’s legislative affairs.

Prestigious Nomination

As per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar nominated Phangnon to serve on the Panel of Vice Chairpersons, with effect from July 17. In response to this esteemed appointment, Phangnon expressed her gratitude on Twitter, vowing to serve the nation with utmost humility and a strong commitment to giving her best. This nomination marks a significant recognition of her capabilities and dedication to public service, and it is anticipated that her presence on the panel will bring valuable perspectives and contributions to the legislative proceedings in the Upper House.

A Trailblazing Decision

The nomination of Phangnon as the second Naga woman parliamentarian is a momentous and trailblazing decision, especially given the prevailing dominance of patriarchy and male chauvinism in Nagaland’s political arena. The BJP’s initiative is widely regarded as a positive stride towards fostering gender diversity and inclusivity in the region’s political landscape. By appointing Phangnon to this influential position, the party not only acknowledges her capabilities but also sends a powerful message that women’s representation and empowerment are vital for the progress and prosperity of the state. This groundbreaking move is expected to inspire more women to actively participate in politics and contribute to shaping the future of Nagaland with their unique perspectives and leadership.

A Troubled Past

  • Phangnon hails from Oting village in the remote and underdeveloped Mon district.
  • In 2021, the Modi government and security forces faced criticism for the killing of ‘innocent Konyak mine workers,’ mistaken as Naga insurgents, in Oting village.
  • The incident sparked demands for an ‘autonomous territory’ for the Eastern Nagaland region.

Long Road to Female Representation

  • Nagaland had never elected a woman to its state legislature before the 2023 assembly elections.
  • However, in this year’s elections, two women candidates from NDPP made it to the assembly, signifying a shift towards more inclusive politics in the state.

Resistance to Women’s Reservation

  • Despite Nagaland’s high literacy rate and English being its official language, the state has opposed the women’s reservation bill, seeking to reserve 33% of legislative and parliamentary seats for women.
  • In 1997, the Nagaland Assembly unanimously passed a resolution against the bill, citing it as against Naga tradition.

Current Contempt Proceedings

  • The incumbent state government under Neiphiu Rio leading the NDPP-BJP dispensation is facing ‘contempt’ proceedings in the Supreme Court for defying the apex court’s order related to women’s reservation in urban local bodies.
  • Phangnon Konyak’s nomination as Vice Chairperson marks a significant moment for gender representation in Nagaland’s political arena, and it reflects BJP’s commitment to promoting Matri Shakti – women power – in the region.

Read Also: Naga Insurgency-North East

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