Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dr. JP staying away from Mayor’s election

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is not taking part in the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation on Decenber 4.

Party leaders V. Laxman Balaji, G. Raja Reddy and Prathap Reddy told the media today that the decision flows from the Lok Satta’s principled opposition to the provision of voting rights to ex-officio members in the GHMC. The party had already questioned the provision in the Andhra Pradesh High Court and its verdict is awaited.

The High Court, which did not stay the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, had directed that elected members and ex-officio members cast their votes in separate ballot boxes.

Dr. JP is an ex-officio member of the GHMC by virtue of his being an elected member of the Legislative Assembly from Kukatpally constituency in Greater Hyderabad.

The Lok Satta leaders said that by providing voting rights to ex-officio members, the Government sought to undo people’s verdict and undermine democracy.

The leaders recalled that the Government had held elections to the civic body in Hyderabad only four times in the last 45 years (1960, 1986, 2002 and 2009) and that too following courts’ intervention. “Nothing exemplifies the disinclination of successive State Governments to transfer powers to local bodies better than the irregular elections to the Hyderabad municipal corporation.”

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