STATE PARLIAMENTARY Affairs Minister Azam Khan on Tuesday blamed the Raj Bhavan for keeping on hold a Bill that allows action against mayors, alleging that it appears Governor Ram Naik does not want action against members of “one particular party”.
Her was referring to the Uttar Pradesh Nagar Nigam (Amendment) Bill-2015 that was passed last year by the state Assembly. “A Bill is pending with the Governor for over one year, through which, mayors could be removed for financial irregularities… The Governor has stalled the Bill giving an impression that he is working under influence of a party,” Khan said during a discussion in the Zero Hour in the state Assembly.
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The Bill was not given assent so that mayors could not be punished for their “dishonesty”, Khan alleged. “Earlier, there was no law to allow action against mayors in case they misbehave with any staff member… Only an amendment was made to make the law of action applicable on mayors,” he said.
“If there is any problem in the Bill, it could be returned or if there is any suggestion, I could be called for a clarification on it. There should be a way out. It was not a disputed Bill. There is no intention of victimisation of any mayor through it,” he added. Khan went on to appeal to the House to consider a time period up to which Raj Bhavan could sit on any bill.
Objecting to Khan’s remarks, BJP legislative party leader Suresh Kumar Khanna requested him to withdraw his allegations. Khanna also requested the Speaker to expunge the remarks, as it was a “direct allegation against the Governor”.
Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey said that as per Constitution, the Governor has the right not to give assent to a bill, but he would apprise Naik about the minister’s feelings. “But issues related to public interest should be considered more seriously,” the Speaker said, adding that “unconstitutional” words would be expunged from the proceedings.
The controversial UP Nagar Nigam (Amendment) Bill-2015 gives power to the state government to remove mayors, besides curtailing the powers of local bodies. It provides for enhancing the financial powers of chairman of nagarpalika and nagar panchayat to Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively, while that of mayor has been kept at Rs 15 lakh.
It also provides for merger of UP Nagar Nigam Act-1959 and UP Nagar Palika Act-1916. It has provisions of removal of mayor of municipal corporations and Nagarpalika and Nagar Panchayat chairman by the government. Later, the Uttar Pradesh Mayor Council had urged the Governor not to give his approval to it.
Bills currently pending with Raj Bhavan include Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University (Amendment) Bill-2015 and UP Medical Science University, Saifai, Bill-2015. According to sources, the Governor had expressed his reservation over appointment of chief secretary as the president of Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University and CM as the chancellor of the Saifai Medical University. WITH PTI