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Maha mulls for direct election of mayor

The Maharashtra government is mulling to hold direct elections for the mayor’s post in the corporations that fall under the C and D category, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said.

The CM said recently, polls to gram panchayat and municipal council were made direct, while there has been a similar demand to hold the mayoral polls.

“There is a demand for direct election (of mayors). We recently made the Gram panchayat and municipal council elections direct. The problem with municipal corporations is that, 90 per cent of elections are over and it will now be held only after five years,” Fadnavis said.

He was speaking after inaugurating a two-day All India Mayors’ Council, organised by Aurangabad municipal corporation in Aurangabad.

“We just have 2-4 municipal corporation polls pending,” he said, adding, another constraint is that since cities are very big in the state, experimenting becomes difficult.

“But, we will definitely think about holding direct mayoral elections for small cities, whose civic bodies fall in the C and D category,” the CM said.

Out of the 25 municipal corporations in Maharashtra, 21 fall under categories C and D.

Mumbai municipal corporation falls under the ‘A+’ category, Nagpur and Pune municipal corporations come under ‘A’ category.

The ‘B’ category comprises Thane and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations.

Municipal corporations that fall under C and D categories are — Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali, Vasai-Virar, Mira Bhayander, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Solapur, Kolhapur, Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad, Amravati, Ahmednagar, Akola, Jalgaon, Nanded, Malegaon, Aurangabad, Latur, Chandrapur, Parbhani, Panvel.

In May 2016, the BJP-led state government revived a system of direct election of municipal council presidents.

Notably, it had reaped dividends in the municipal council polls held during the November-December-January period.

The government, earlier this year approved a proposal for direct election of village sarpanch, by amending the Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Act of 1958.

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