Other States

Madhya Pradesh set to have indirect Mayor elections

Governor Lalji Tandon

Governor Lalji Tandon  

Congress chary of defeat in direct polls, wants to influence Councillors, alleges BJP

Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon has given his assent to an ordinance allowing indirect elections to the posts of Mayor and president of smaller civic bodies.

This has put to rest a raging exchange of barbs between the Congress and the BJP over the ordinance which sought to let Councillors instead of the electorate elect Mayors and presidents.

With the local body polls round the corner, the BJP had claimed the Congress government pushed for the ordinance as it was chary of a defeat in direct elections and wanted to influence its Councillors. At present, all the Mayors in the 16 Municipal Corporations belong to the BJP.

Stating that the State government stood by democratic principles, Chief Minister Kamal Nath informed Mr. Tandon that those who tried to pressure the Governor by discussing the ordinance publicly were expressing their personal views.

On Sunday, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha had tweeted: “Respected Governor, you were and are an able administrator. As per the Constitution, a Governor works on the recommendations of the Cabinet. This is called Raj Dharma. Listen to the Opposition, but don’t stop the Mayor Election Bill. This will set a bad precedent. Just think over it.”

A press note from the State government on Tuesday said Mr. Tandon believed passing comments on the discretion of Constitutional posts violated Constitutional principles. The dignity of the Governor was independent and undisputed. Putting direct on indirect pressure on the Governor went against Constitutional principles.

Changing tack, Mr. Tankha on Wednesday tweeted; “We welcome the decision of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh to grant assent and promulgate the ordinance for indirect elections of Mayors despite stiff opposition of senior BJP leaders. It reinforces our faith in the majesty of law. Gratifying moment for those who cherish Constitutional values.”

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 10:21:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/madhya-pradesh-set-to-have-indirect-mayor-elections/article29634149.ece

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