Cong asks Raj govt to amend contentious rule on Mayor election

New Delhi


The Congress has asked the Rajasthan government to amend the contentious rule which allows virtually anyone to fight mayoral elections. The issue was the latest flashpoint between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who had questioned his own government's decision on election to the posts of urban local bodies.

Official sources said that there will be an amendment to the said rule, which allows even non-councillors to contest for mayors and chairpersons of municipalities.

Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi asked party in-charge Avinash Pandey to resolve differences between the two warring factions in the Rajasthan Congress.

Congress General Secretary Pandey spoke to the Chief Minister and Minister Shanti Dhariwal and other stakeholders in the state on the issue and pressed for amendment in the rule.

Sachin Pilot had raised the banner of revolt against Gehlot saying, "this is not a good decision and I do not agree with this. The decision is not practical and not politically right and there is need to make changes in the decision."

He said that indirect elections should be held for the post of Mayors and Chairpersons of corporations and municipalities. The issue was not discussed in the cabinet and not even with the MLAs.

Pilot had said that Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi wanted to give more powers to local governance but the new system which is called hybrid will allow people to sneak through the backdoor.

The new system enables anybody to contest the elections without being elected as a councillor, he had said.

This is not the first time that fissures have occurred in the Rajasthan Congress. Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot do not see eye to eye on many issues and both have been scoring brownie points against each other.

The second round of the blame game started with the complete wipeout of the party in Rajasthan in the general elections.

Secondly, when BSP legislators merged with the Congress Sachin Pilot was not taken into confidence.IANS