The Haryana government on Monday postponed the election for mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) till June 21, provoking a councillor to challenge the decision in court.
The election which was earlier scheduled on Tuesday has been postponed as the Gurgaon divisional commissioner will not be available for the proceeding, the government said while announcing the new date.
“This is complete violation of constitution. How can they do it at the eleventh hour? They didn’t even inform us about cancellation of the meeting,” said Nisha Singh, a councillor from ward 30 who will approach the district court on Tuesday.
If a stay order is obtained, the councillors can hold mayor's elections on the same day (which is Tuesday) without the presence of divisional commissioner.
The Congress-led state government has already been blamed for delaying the process. The councillors’ election for each of the 35 wards of the civic body was held last month, but the top post remains vacant as the ruling party, which has the support of maximum councillors, is yet to decide its candidate.
Legal expert S Oberoi, citing the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, termed the government’s decision unconstitutional.
“Earlier, the corporation didn't hold elections for three years and now it has defied the constitutional mandate of holding the first meeting within a month of the elections,” he said, adding that the government has no power to postpone the election of mayor.
INLD councillors were also outraged over the postponement. “We already had 24 councillors to vote for our mutually decided candidate. But they (ruling party) have decided to postpone the meeting,” said a woman councillor from INLD.
The INLD alleged that it was deliberately done as the Congress was sure of losing the election. “A state minister and an MLA had gone to meet the chief minister in Delhi to push for the cancellation of elections, after which the mayor’s election was postponed. This is illegal. The government has lost its integrity in the democratic values,” said Yogi Yadav, spokesperson, INLD Gurgaon.
Councillors having linked to Congress party have supported the decision.
“What matters is that whosoever we elect as mayor should be the right person, whether it happens today or a week from now,” said Mahesh Dayma, a councillor from ward 32.