Thiruvananthapuram

The next challenge, standing committees

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LDF unlikely to find the election process easy with BJP raising demands

The elections to the standing committees of the city Corporation are expected to be a complicated affair this time around, with no party having a clear majority.

The chairpersons and members of the various standing committees were in the past decided by consensus between parties, after several rounds of discussions. Each standing committee of 12 or 13 members each was filled with more members from the party for which the particular committee was earlier decided for. But, this time, with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having 35 members in the council, and LDF having a slender lead at 43, things might not be that easy. Till the Municipal Act of 2000 came into force, standing committee chairpersons were handpicked by the Mayor. Though the Act stipulates that elections should be conducted, that has hardly been the case, with leaders arriving at an understanding earlier on.

Eight committees

The eight standing committees are finance, public works, health, welfare, taxation, education, development and town planning. In 2010, the LDF controlled seven standing committees, except town planning, which is considered ‘lightweight’.

This time, the BJP has already put forward its demand of standing committees, all plum ones, which the ruling party generally keeps under its control. “Last time, the LDF had the majority and so it could dictate terms. But, this time, the BJP is demanding three standing committees – public works, welfare and development. They are sure to refuse the demand. If they offer us anything less than three, we will demand polling,” says a BJP source.

Complicated

Polling will be a long-drawn-out and complicated process with each party proposing its list of members for each committee, which will be put to vote.

The elected members of the committees will then elect their respective chairpersons.

The LDF already has finance standing committee as the Deputy Mayor heads it. It won’t be in any mood to part with the public works, health, welfare and taxation standing committees. According to LDF sources, it is looking to arrive at a consensus with the BJP and the UDF and to keep their total share at just two standing committees. This might not be as easy as it looks, due to the numbers. The elections to the standing committees will be held on December 1.



Earlier, committees were decided by consensus

BJP may demand 3 major committees


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 5:42:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/the-next-challenge-standing-committees/article7905025.ece

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