Oppn protest over amendment in local bodies Act baseless: UP CM

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has on Tuesday termed protest by the opposition parties as "unfortunate and baseless" over the amendment in the urban local bodies act.

"The Chief Minister has termed protest by opposition parties over the bill for amendment in election process of mayors and chairmen as unfortunate and baseless," Additional Cabinet Secretary Ravindra Singh told reporters here.

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly was yesterday adjourned sine die after opposition members created rumpus over the bill which proposes indirect elections for mayors and chairmen of urban local bodies.

Their contention was that the bill could encourage horse trading and dominance of money and muscle power in the urban local bodies.

"For effective implementation of the welfare schemes through local bodies it was observed that election process of the mayors and chairmen, which was in practice before 1994, should be implemented," Singh said.

As per the new bill, which has been passed by both the Houses of the state Assembly, indirect elections of mayors and chairmen will be done, instead of direct election being followed now.

He said that in the existing system it has been observed that mutual understanding between the corporators and mayors was lacking as a result to which proper implementation of welfare schemes cannot be ensured and working of local bodies was affected.

"More so, process of indirect elections of chairmen in panchayats is already been followed since long and is time tested," he said.

"The CM is of the view that in the public interest government has the powers to amend any act," he added.

He said that system of indirect elections was followed by various government for 40 years and unnecessary protest started when the existing government initiated the move to amend it.