After the BJP-led state government allowed election of municipal council chiefs directly from among the electorate, the state cabinet on Monday gave its nod for gram panchayat sarpanches to be elected similarly.
The decision is expected to impact elections of around 8,000 gram panchayats in the state, scheduled in the month of September-October. The BJP, which had a minimal representation at the municipal council level, won 56 posts last year. According to political observers, the numbers increased after the state government’s decision to allow direct election of the council chief from among the voters.
The state cabinet Monday gave its nod to amend the respective clauses of the Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Act, 1958 in order to facilitate the election of the sarpanch (head of the gram panchayat/ village administration) directly from among the people of the village.
An ordinance to this effect will soon be drafted, and the government is planning to table the amendment Bill during the Monsoon session of the state Assembly, scheduled to begin from July 25.