Case filed against indirect election to Mayor posts in Tamilnadu

Chennai: The State Election Commission, which is gearing up to hold civic polls in Tamilnadu, held a review meeting with district Collectors on preparedness.

With the High Court directing the SEC to announce the election date before 13 December, top officials of the Commission held the meeting with Collectors.

Meanwhile, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has been moved against the State government’s decision to hold indirect election for the Mayors of Corporations and chairpersons of Municipalities.

The Court has said that it would take up the issue, moved by advocate Neelamagam, if it is filed as petition.

As the stage is set for local body elections in the State, the Tamilnadu government on Wednesday promulgated an ordinance for the indirect election of Mayors of Municipal corporations and Chairpersons of municipalities, saying it will lead to stability.

Indirect election of civic body chiefs will ensure collective responsibility among the heads of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and all the elected Councillors, the ordinance promulgated by the Governor said.

Now, only Councillors can pick a chief for the civic body from among them and not the general public who could elect them directly.

The ordinance comes after the State government had reverted to direct election of Mayors and other civic body chiefs by the people, after moving a Bill in this regard in the Tamilnadu Assembly in January 2018.

The civic polls, scheduled to be held in 2016, are yet to be conducted following litigation.

In the explanatory statement in the ordinance, the government said if a Mayor or Chairperson belonged to one particular political party and the majority of the Councillors to another, then the civic body chiefs ”fail to get utmost co-operation from the Councillors.”

”This results in conflict, and the smooth functioning of the council gets affected. Sometimes, even getting the council meetings convened in regular intervals become difficult in such situations,” it said.

”It is considered that if indirect election is conducted for electing mayor/chairperson, there will be stability and collective responsibility among the head of the Urban Local Bodies and all the elected Councillors and local bodies will be able to function in a harmonious and constructive way,” the government added.

Representations were received from various forums and public that indirect election will be a ‘better system’ for smooth functioning of the administration in the ULBs, it said.

AIADMK asks applicants to get back money

The ruling AIADMK today said that party cadres who have applied to contest for the post of Mayors and Chairmans can withdraw their petition and get back the application fees.

Meanwhile, a petition filed against holding the AIADMK general body meeting on 24 November was dismissed today after the petitioner Sundaram withdrew his plea.

It is also reportedly said that Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said that he will welcome actor Ajith if he decides to enter politics.

NT Bureau