For first time, right to recall exercised
Poll to remove municipal head in Ríthan
In a first of its kind in the state, the people of Mangrol municipality in Baran district in Rajasthan exercised their vote for a referendum to remove municipal chairman Ashok Kumar Jain on Wednesday.
Jain who was elected as an independent candidate was made the chairman after the local body elections in November 2009.
The result of the referendum will be announced on Friday, a district official said.
The right to recall has never been exercised the state. According to the officer, of 16,535 voters in the municipality 65.71 per cent of the electorate cast their votes.
If more than half the total number of voters favour the recall, the elected position of chairman will be nullified.
The move has been initiated due to Jain’s allegedly highhandedness and non-performance.
The provision for referendum was incorporated through an amendment to the Rajasthan Municipalities Act passed by the state Assembly in March 2011.
The referendum follows the passage of two no-confidence motions against Jain in January this year.
The Mangrol municipality has 20 members as councillors of which 11 are from the Congress, BJP has 5 members and 4 are independents.
Out of 20 members, 17 members voted for the no-confidence motion against him which led to the referendum. Jain approached the court. However the High Court directed for the referendum to be held.
His detractors alleged irregularities in the appropriation of MLA and MP development funds. On the other hand Jain said he has become the target since he had opposed encroachment by some councillors who conspired against him with the support of a local MLA and former public works department minister Pramod Jain Bhaiya.
Electoral officer Dhara Singh Meena said the referendum was held in a peaceful and impartial manner. The voting started at 8 am and continued till 5 pm.
Voting was held at 21 polling centres in 20 wards in the municipality.