‘Government can exercise discretion in nominating, removing councillors’

Close on the heels of the Congress-led government recalling the Bharatiya Janata Party’s nominees in the State-run university Syndicates, the tenure of the 20 nominated councillors in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been cut short.

A Government Order was issued to this effect on Monday.

With this, the government has exercised its powers under section 8(1)(ii) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. Stating that this was “routine and not out of the ordinary”, Opposition Leader in the BBMP council M.K. Gunashekar told The Hindu on Tuesday that the KMC Act said the government could exercise its discretion in nominating and removing councillors.

He added that nominated councillors in the previous councils had voluntarily tendered their resignations after a new government was formed in the State.

Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy explained that the BBMP Commissioner had sought the resignation of the nominated councillors soon after the Congress government came to power.

He pointed out that some nominated members from university Syndicates had challenged the ouster of nominated members of boards and corporations. “However, even the court upheld the government’s decision.”

“Following this, the government, in an order on July 6, stated that all nominated members, unless specified, must resign from the posts. When the BBMP’s nominated councillors failed to resign, the government issued the order terminating their tenure,” Mr. Murthy said.

Of the 20 nominated members, only Sharatchandra from Bommanahalli resigned in January 2013.

Transferred

On Tuesday, the BBMP transferred 426 revenue officers.

Terming the transfer “internal shuffling”, BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan said the decision to transfer revenue inspectors who had served more than three years in one place was announced in the BBMP council last month. This came after the incident of alleged misappropriation of tax amounting to around Rs. 16 lakh by three tax inspectors in the Herohalli subdivision under Rajarajeshwarinagar zone.

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