Rajasthan revokes move to let unelected people contest mayor polls
State urban development and local self government minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal said in a statement that in the local body elections scheduled for next month, mayors and chairpersons would be chosen by the elected councillors.Updated: Oct 26, 2019, 01:03 IST
Under fire from the Opposition as well as its own party, the Congress-led Rajasthan government on Friday revoked its October 16 decision to allow unelected persons to contest for the posts of mayors and chairpersons of local bodies.
State urban development and local self government minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal said in a statement that in the local body elections scheduled for next month, mayors and chairpersons would be chosen by the elected councillors.
The local self government department had on October 16 notified the Rajasthan Municipal (Election) (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2019, which allowed any citizen to contest election to the post of chairperson or mayor.
The move sparked a controversy after deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and a few ministers opposed the decision saying it was undemocratic and would lead to “back-door entry” of people to civic bodies.
The Congress high command was believed to have asked Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pande, to intervene in the matter and advise the state leadership to come out with a corrective measure.
Welcoming the latest decision, Pilot said, “I am happy that the government has changed its decision of having unelected people run for the post of mayor and chairman. I believe it is against the ethos of our democracy and I am happy that the issue we took up has now been recognized and the government has changed its earlier decision.”
State BJP president Satish Poonia said the government was forced to take back its decision because it was under pressure from the BJP, the people as well as its own ministers. “The BJP had announced a statewide agitation over the issue, and the government was getting defamed and so it was on the backfoot and forced to change its decision.”