The Madhya Pradesh government is waiting Governor Lalji Tandon’s clearance to an ordinance that will allow indirect elections for the post of the mayor and presidents of smaller municipal bodies.
A top official confirmed that the ordinance reached the Raj Bhavan several days ago. “It’s under the Governor’s consideration,” he said. The MP cabinet had cleared the ordinance on September 25.
The Kamal Nath government’s decision not to hold direct elections has not gone down well with the BJP, which has alleged that the Congress is afraid of losing.
In direct elections, citizens choose the Mayor and other candidates, and not councillors.
All 16 municipal corporations in the state have BJP mayors. A delegation of office-bearers of All India Council of Mayors called on Tandon on Friday requesting him not to endorse the Congress government’s decision.
The council’s organisation secretary and former BJP minister, Umashankar Gupta, told The Sunday Express, “We requested him to examine the proposal because it’s not legally appropriate.” Gupta, also a former mayor of Bhopal, said the proposal is contrary to the spirit of the 74th Amendment to the Constitution and it’s not proper to turn the clock backwards.
The delegation, which also comprised former and current mayors, argued before the governor that when councillors choose the mayor, the latter is always under pressure to save his chair.
Congress media in-charge Shobha Oza responded saying the BJP was misleading people. When reminded that all 16 municipal corporations have BJP mayors, she said that was because the BJP was in power then.
“Things have changed now and they are scared of defeat,” she said.