Jaipur: The heads of local bodies in Rajasthan including Jaipur mayor will not be directly elected by the public. Taking a U-tun, the Ashok Gehlot cabinet on Monday announced that the elected councillors (ward parshads) will elect the head of the local bodies, not the public. The Ashok Gehlot government has reversed its own decision taken in the first cabinet meeting after coming to power.
Cabinet Shanti Dhariwal defended the government’s decision and told media persons that conducting a direct election for the mayor and the head of the local body can end up being a law and order nightmare.
“We are not taking this decision fearing defeat in the elections. We have decided to abolish the direct election system because we believe this may lead to communal tension in certain areas. In the interest of maintaining communal harmony, we have decided that the mayors and heads of local bodies will be elected by the elected councillors, not the public,” Dhariwal said.
The elections for nearly 193 local bodies including Jaipur will be held in four phases of Rajasthan. The elections are expected to take place by the end of the year.
The elections in the first phase for 52 local bodies will be held in November. They include Jaipur Municipal Corporation, Udaipur Municipal Corporation, Jodhpur Municipal Corporation, Bikaner Municipal Corporation and Kota Municipal Corporation.