The Bihar government is set to bring an ordinance that will, in effect, pave the way for holding elections for the vacant posts of mayor and deputy mayor of Patna.
The proposed ordinance purports to formalise the process for the election and removal of mayor and deputy mayor of various municipal corporations in the State.
Confirming the development, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the finalised draft of the proposed ordinance had already been sent to Raj Bhawan for necessary action.
"We can expect the ordinance to be promulgated soon. This, I believe, will clear the way for the holding of pending elections for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor of Patna," Modi told Hindustan Times.
He said the proposed ordinance also had a clause that would enable the municipal commissioners to exercise the powers of the empowered committees of municipal corporations when the mayors and deputy mayors were not in office.
The Deputy Chief Minister said in August, the High Court had stayed the scheduled elections to fill the vacant posts of mayor and deputy mayor on the ground that the rules for their election and removal had not been framed.
"As the State legislature is not in session at present, it was decided to meet the legal requirement through an ordinance," said Modi, who holds the additional charge of urban development department at present.
The posts of Patna mayor and deputy mayor had fallen vacant on July 14 this year when the then incumbents, Sanjay Kumar and Santosh Mehta, were voted out of office.
Former mayor Kumar and former deputy mayor Mehta had challenged their removal from office through a no-confidence motion, in the Patna High Court.
The court stayed the election after the lawyer for the petitioners cited a Supreme Court ruling that showed the poll could not been held when the no-confidence motion that necessitated the election was under challenge.