Govt takes control of BBMP

Last Updated : 18 April 2015, 20:48 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2015, 20:48 IST

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The State government on Saturday took control of the BBMP by dissolving its elected body and appointing senior IAS officer T M Vijay Bhaskar as the administrator.

The action comes amid a raging controversy over the efforts being made by the ruling Congress to postpone the civic body polls. Though the Cabinet took the decision on Friday, it had not provided any details.

The government action was so swift that Bhaskar took charge of his new posting on Saturday evening.

Also, IAS officer G Kumar Naik will replace M Lakshminarayana as the new BBMP commissioner. Lakshminarayana has been transferred without posting.

The term of all 198 corporators, including Mayor Shantakumari, has been terminated with immediate effect.

All the standing committees of the BBMP have also been dissolved under Section 99 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, 1976, citing failure on the part of the BBMP Council to discharge its civic duty, financial mismanagement and large-scale irregularities.

Asked whether the move is in contravention of the 73rd Constitutional amendment, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that “Section 99 of the KMC Act empowers the State government to dissolve the BBMP. Hence the question of violating the Constitution does not arise.”

The BJP with 112 corporators was controlling the BBMP Council. The intention of the Congress government in dissolving the Council whose term is set to expire in four days is to avoid the polls.

Election need not be conducted immediately if the Council, which has less than six months’ term, is dissolved under section 99 of the KMC Act.

The ruling Congress is planning an image makeover by deferring the polls. The party wants to demonstrate that it can administer the City better than the scam-tainted tenure of the BJP.

The BJP had won all three Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and this has shaken the Congress’s confidence.

However, holding elections to the BBMP now depends on the division bench of the Karnataka High Court, which is set to hear an appeal by the government to quash the single judge order to conduct the polls before May 30.

Moreover, the government has convened a special session of the Legislature on April 20 to disband the BBMP and constitute three new corporations in its place by amending the KMC Act.

In a five-page detailed notification, the government has extensively quoted Rajendra Kumar Kataria committee report on irregularities and mismanagement in the BBMP.

It has also noted various observations of the Upa Lokayukta and various cases pending in courts. The committee has mentioned irregularities like mismatch in code and registration numbers assigned to civil works and sanctioning and changing names of civil works without the commissioner’s permission.

“The Upa Lokayukta expressed reservation on allowing 20,000 illegal advertisement hoardings, causing lose in laying optic-fibre cable, sitting on bills to the tune of several crores of rupees,” the notification stated.

Published 18 April 2015, 20:38 IST

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