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Bill facilitating indirect election of Mayors passed

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Aug 31 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu assembly today passed a Bill seeking to elect Mayors of Corporations and Chairmen of Municipalities and Town Panchayats, indirectly, amid protests by the main opposition AIADMK.

The Bill, which replaced an ordinance passed by the Governor on July 14, was opposed by the AIADMK which moved a resolution to disapprove the amendment Bill.

However, the Bill was passed after Speaker R Avudaiyappan declared as defeated the AIADMK resolution.

Replying to the brief debate, Local Administration Minister M K Stalin said the government had decided to hold elections of Mayor to the Corporations and Chairmen of Municipalities and town panchayats indirectly only to ensure smooth functioning of the local bodies.

He said the government decided on indirect elections as the councils of certain municipalities and municipal corporations could not function properly since the Chairmen or the Mayors belong to one party and majority of councillors belong to a different party.

If the Mayor or Chairman enjoyed the support of the majority of councillors, the council could function in a better manner, he said.

Earlier, moving the resolution, disapproving the ordinance, Mr P K Sekar Babu said by doing away with the system of direct elections, the elected Mayors and Chairmen would be de-linked from the people.

Quoting exensively from late Chief Minsiter C N Annadurai, who had stoutly opposed when the then Congress regime brought in such a legislation, Mr Sekar wanted to know whether the DMK government, which claimed to be following the footsteps of Anna would respect his sentiments.

The House also passed the Tamil Nadu Panchayats (fifth amendement) Bill, 2006, seeking to change the special village panchayats as town panchayats, also amid protests by the AIADMK. The bill was passed after the Speaker declared as defeated, AIADMK's resolution, seeking to disapprove the bill.

Replying to the debate, Mr Stalin said the government has decided to change only after ascertaining the views of the Special village panchayats. Of the 561 Special Village Panchayats, 506 of them desired Town panchayat status, while 44 remained nuetral, he said.


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