Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala: Term of 4 mayors ends in a week, ‘administrators’ to take over MCs
The outgoing incumbents want to continue as “caretakers” as they say the corporations should be run in a democratic manner.Updated: Sep 16, 2017 12:09 IST
With the tenures of mayors of four key Punjab municipal corporations – Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala — coming to end in a week, the state government has decided to appoint the commissioners as administrators to run the day-to-day affairs of till the civic bodies’ elections.
But the outgoing incumbents want to continue as “caretakers” as they say the corporations should be run in a democratic manner, as there’s an elected body awaiting elections which were delayed by the state government.
Interestingly, the mayors whose tenure ends belong to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Patiala and Ludhiana and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (Amritsar and Jalandhar).
Patiala mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj, whose term ends on Saturday and left the charge on Friday, said, “It was against the democratic provisions to delay the elections and let one person (commissioner) take over the work of a civic body and enjoy the power of a general house.”
The term of Ludhiana mayor would end on September 20, Amritsar on September 22 and Jalandhar two days later. These civic bodies went to elections five years ago.
After the term of a mayor ends, the term of the elected general house that comprises the councillors representing different wards of the civic body would also end and the commissioner will take over as administrator who would perform the role of the general house.
In July, local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu announced to postpone the polls, taking the plea that the government which took over in March wants to show development to the people. He had hinted at conducting the polls of the four corporations after September. He had sought time from chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to visit the four cities and announce a development roadmap for them.
Other six municipal corporation in Punjab — Bathinda, Mohali, Phagwara, Pathankot, Moga and Hoshiarpur — would go for polls at a later stage.
Director local bodies Kamal Kishore Yadav told HT that some preparations were to be made such as the fresh election would take place with 50% reservation for women, geographical areas of the wards have changed and new areas have added. “So the department decided to postpone the polls, but there would be no adverse impact on the development works in these corporation areas,” he said.
“Government has no preparedness for the polls. During SAD-BJP elections of all four corporations in 2007 and 2012, was held on time. It seems the congress party is not confident, that’s why it’s jittery going into the polls lots,” said Bakshi Ram Arora Amritsar mayor. He said lots of works in the corporation requires identification by the councilors, and when their terms would end who would perform their duties.
“There’s no point of losing confident. Our government is doing everything for the people of state and we would win in all four civic body polls,” said Sunil Jakhar Punjab Pradesh congress committee president. The delay was due to some procedural fulfilments before the polls, he said.
First Published: Sep 16, 2017 12:08 IST