In a new development, the Chief Minister Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday decided to restore the old mayoral election process, where the mayor, the head of the municipal corporation, will be elected by their fellow councillors for five-year term.
The indirect election process will be also effective for the appointments of presidents in smaller municipal bodies. Under the current system, the mayors and presidents are democratically elected by the residents and ratepayers in respective municipalities.
Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are among the states where Mayors are directly elected by the people and thus hold the executive powers of the municipal corporations.
However, from now on, Madhya Pradesh will follow the old norm of appointing the mayor and the president by their fellow councillors.
Reacting to the development, the Opposition BJP termed the decision as undemocratic, adding that the decision shows Congress' fear of losing the ensuing municipal elections in the state. Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava also cried foul, alleging that the new system will promote horse trading.
In support to their decision, Congress said there were flaws in the old election system. For example, they cited a scenario where decision making have been affected because the mayor belonged to the different party and the majority councillors to another party.