The Assam Assembly passed two legislation on Thursday to reserve 50% of seats in civic bodies constituencies for women for a period of ten years on a rotational basis. According to the Assam Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill, 2021, women will be allocated 50% of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in any municipality, including those reserved for women belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. According to the amendment to the Assam Municipal Act, 1956, such seats shall be allocated by rotation to various constituencies in a municipality every ten years.
”The step to provide reservation for a ward for 10 years will encourage women to participate in the democratic process of election and will enable them to bring sustainability to schemes implemented by the urban local bodies,” - Urban Development Minister Ashok Singhal.
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was also enacted by the Assembly, which extends the period of women reservation for up to ten years in the direct election of councillors. The revisions to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Act, 1969, also attempt to impose harsher penalties for violations of the Act, as most of the existing penalties do not function as deterrents for violators.