TN ordinance for indirect election of Mayors

TN ordinance for indirect election of Mayors

(Photo by Wikipedia)

The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday promulgated an ordinance for the indirect election of Mayors of Municipal corporations and chairpersons of municipalities, saying it will lead to stability. Indirect election of civic body chiefs will ensure collective responsibility among the heads of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and all the elected councilors, the ordinance promulgated by the Governor said.

Now, only councilors can pick a chief for the civic body from among them and not the general public who could elect them directly.

The ordinance comes after the state government had reverted to the direct election of Mayors and other civic body chiefs by the people, after moving a bill in this regard in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in January 2018.

Incidentally, the ruling AIADMK, under former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2016, had opted for indirect election, i.e. by the Councillors.

The civic polls, scheduled to be held in 2016, are yet to be conducted following litigation.

In the explanatory statement in the ordinance, the government said if a Mayor or Chairperson belonged to one particular political party and the majority of the councilors to another, then the civic body chiefs "fail to get utmost co-operation from the councilors." "This results in conflict, and the smooth functioning of the council gets affected. Sometimes, even getting the council meetings convened in regular intervals become difficult in such situations," it said. "It is considered that if the indirect election is conducted for electing mayor/chairperson, there will be stability and collective responsibility among the head of the Urban Local Bodies and all the elected councilors and local bodies will be able to function in a harmonious and constructive way," the government added.

Representations were received from various forums and the public that indirect election will be a "better system" for the smooth functioning of the administration in the ULBs, it said.

Accordingly, amendments were made to relevant civic body acts.

Responding to the ordinance, the ruling AIADMK said this shows that civic polls will be finally held for which the notification could be issued soon.

Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said even the DMK had in the past held an indirect election to the posts of civic body heads and pointed out that only MPs elect the Prime Minister.

Tamil Nadu has 15 Municipal Corporations and 121 Municipalities.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox