Indirect election in civic polls will lead to horse-trading: Pilot

Jaipur: PCC President Sachin Pilot Wednesday attacked the Rajasthan government for changing the election process of heads of civic bodies, thus leading to "horse-trading" of councillors.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 19, 2014, 15:24 PM IST

Jaipur: PCC President Sachin Pilot Wednesday attacked the Rajasthan government for changing the election process of heads of civic bodies, thus leading to "horse-trading" of councillors.

 "I have written a letter to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje asking why the process of direct election of mayor in municipal corporation and chairman in municipal councils is changed to indirect election, but she has not replied to me yet", Pilot told PTI during electioneering here.

 Emphasising that the "anti-defection laws do not cover civic polls", the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief said, "The indirect election of mayor and chairman in civic bodies would attract horse trading and open invitation for money use leading to corruption in the democratic process of polls".

 The Congress leader stated that the public had the power to elect their civic heads directly, but by amending the laws in the Municipal act earlier this year the state government has given power to the elected councillors to choose their respective mayor or chairman based on strength.

 The strength would be shown by the ruling BJP government by way of "horse-trading", he said.

 "I ask the Prime Minister why the Chief Minister of Rajasthan has changed this process of election without consulting opposition and would it not lead to corruption in the absence of an anti-defection law?" he said.

 Pilot also hailed PCC's new formula of 40:40, providing forty per cent tickets to people below the age of 40 and said that the formula has given a big flip to the political situation in the 46 civic bodies going for poll on November 22.

 Like the assembly by polls in the four constituencies where Congress snatched three seats from BJP in September, the party would be on come back trail during the civic polls and the upcoming Panchayat polls due early next year, Pilot said.

 Commenting on the anti-incumbency factors of the present government, the leader said that the alarming rise in crime against women, stoppage of old age pension, free medicine and diagnostic services as well as the government's Public Private Partnership model in many sectors might go against the Raje government in the civic polls.

 He also pointed out that Rajasthan had touched the second position after Punjab in respect of attack on the police personnel.

 He also commented on Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria's recent statement stating government's inability to keep a watch on criminal activities on every nook and corner, which he had delivered, two days ago.

 The Home Minister's power to transfer policemen rests with the Chief Minister, Pilot said.