Historic Nomination: Nagaland MP S Phangnon Konyak Appointed Vice Chairperson of Rajya Sabha

Historic Nomination: Nagaland MP S Phangnon Konyak Appointed Vice Chairperson of Rajya Sabha
Historic Nomination: Nagaland MP S Phangnon Konyak Appointed Vice Chairperson of Rajya Sabha

A historic moment unfolded in the political arena as S Phangnon Konyak, the solitary representative from Nagaland in the Rajya Sabha, was appointed as one of the vice chairpersons of the esteemed Upper House. This landmark decision, initiated by Chairman Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, underscores the BJP’s firm commitment to empowering women in leadership roles. The nomination of Phangnon onto the Panel of Vice Chairpersons, effective from July 17, serves as a testament to the party’s proactive approach in fostering gender diversity and inclusion in Nagaland’s political landscape.

Hailing from Oting village in the remote and underdeveloped Mon district, Phangnon’s appointment bears significant importance, especially in a state where women’s representation in political institutions has been historically limited. Despite Nagaland’s commendable literacy rate and English being its official language, the region has seen limited progress in terms of gender representation and women’s empowerment in politics.

The BJP’s move to nominate Phangnon as the second Naga woman parliamentarian showcases a progressive step towards dismantling traditional barriers that have perpetuated male dominance and chauvinism in Nagaland’s politics. The recognition of her capabilities and the opportunity extended to her represent a transformative moment for gender representation and equality in the state’s political sphere.

It is noteworthy that in the 2023 assembly elections, Nagaland witnessed a noteworthy change as two women candidates from the NDPP secured seats in the legislative assembly. This shift towards a more inclusive political landscape reflects an evolving attitude towards promoting Matri Shakti or women power in the region.

While Nagaland’s political landscape shows signs of progress, challenges related to women’s reservation remain contentious. The state’s opposition to the women’s reservation bill, seeking to reserve 33% of legislative and parliamentary seats for women, stems from cultural and traditional concerns. In 1997, the Nagaland Assembly unanimously passed a resolution against the bill, citing it as contrary to Naga traditions.

Despite strides made in promoting gender representation, the incumbent state government, under Neiphiu Rio leading the NDPP-BJP dispensation, faces ‘contempt’ proceedings in the Supreme Court for non-compliance with the apex court’s order concerning women’s reservation in urban local bodies.

Amidst these complexities, Phangnon Konyak’s appointment as Vice Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha stands as a transformative moment that highlights the evolving face of Nagaland’s political landscape, emphasizing the BJP’s resolute commitment to fostering women’s empowerment and inclusive governance in the region.