August 29, 2016
Close on the heels of doing away with direct election of Mayors, the Tamil Nadu Government introduced a bill in the Assembly today to end direct election of chairmen of municipalities and town panchayats too.
Introducing the Bill in the House, Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani said at present election to the councils of the urban Local bodies were conducted on party basis and the chairmen were elected directly by the people.
“It has been brought to the notice of the government that in certain circumstances, the chairmen do not get the co-operation of councillors and vice-versa and thereby, there have been impediments in the proceedings of the councils and to arrive at consensus in passing resolutions to provide civic services to the public, as both the chairmen and the councillors are elected directly.” the Minister said.
Having felt the difficulties faced by the Councils of Municipal Corporations, the Tamil Nadu Municipal Corporation Laws (Amendment) Act , 2016 (Tamil Nadu Act 8 of 2016) was enacted to enable the councillors to elect a councillor among themselves as Mayor for the Municipal Corporation.
“As such, in order to have a uniform election procedures in all the Urban Local Bodies in the State, the Government have decided to elect the chairmen of the municipalities and town panchayats also indirectly by the councillors or members from among themselves, as the case may be,” the Minister said and added that to give effect to the above decisions, the Government have decided to amend the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act 1920 (Tamil Nadu Act V of 1920), suitably.
During the last week of June, the Assembly adopted the Bill to do away with the practice of direct election of Mayors.
Intervening the discussion on the bill, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa described the Government decision to revert to the indirect election of mayors as a ‘policy change’.
Velumani said in 18 States, mayors had been elected only through indirect election and whatever step taken by the Chief Minister would be for the good of the people of Tamil Nadu.