Bhopal: Busy preparing for civic body elections in the state, Madhya government has entered into a tussle with Raj Bhavan over an amendment, which aims at paving the way for indirect election of mayors and municipality chairman. Governor Lalji Tandon is yet to clear the amendment forwarded to him by the state government.
Tandon's response to the amendment comes close on the heels of Bhartiya Janata Party's strong reservation Kamal Nath government's move on civic body elections.
It is expected that the governor can't take a call on the said amendment on Monday. The Governor already has assigned his nod on another amendment proposing criminal liabilities for corporators who suppress information at the time of election.
Sources claim that the governor has sought legal consultation on the amendment and it won't be a surprise if he returns the amendment proposal to cabinet for reconsideration.
Tandon's move to seek advice from the constitutional experts was perhaps triggered by a tweet from Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha, who had asked the Governor to clear the amendment reminding him about his constitutional duties. Tankha had claim that the governors act upon the recommendations of the cabinet, which is called the Raj Dharm.
सम्माननीय राज्यपाल आप १ कुशल प्रशासक थे और है।संविधान में राज्यपाल कैबिनेट की अनुशंसा के तहत कार्य करते है। इसे राज्य धर्म कहते है।विपक्ष के बात सुने मगर महापोर चुनाव बिल नहीं रोके।यह ग़लत परम्परा होगी। ज़रा सोचिए।@OfficeOfKNath @JVSinghINC @digvijaya_28 pic.twitter.com/rFakMjG3TZ— Vivek Tankha (@VTankha) 6 October 2019
Sources claimed that perhaps the governor has decided to seek advice on limitations of his rights soon after. Experts of constitutional affairs have been summoned to Raj Bhavan on Monday.
Further, sensing the mood of the governor, the Congress government had initiated efforts to make the former clear the amendment at the earliest.
Urban administration and development minister Jaivardhan Singh and principal secretary UAD Sanjay Shukla had called on the governor on Saturday to brief him about the government's views on indirect election of civic body heads.
The Governor reportedly had told the minister that he would consider the management with positivity.
Meanwhile, by Saturday evening, principal secretary of CM Kamal Nath, Ashok Varshney had called on the governor again, persuading him to clear the amendment. This, however has not gone down well with Tandon, who has reportedly questioned the officer as to why the state government was in a hurry to get the amendment cleared.
Afterwards, the officer retreated and reportedly submitted a report to the chief minister on the issue.
Insiders from the Congress Party claimed that the state government wishes to get the amendment cleared and start preparing for the civic body polls as soon as possible.
The opposition Bhartiya Janata Party had challenged the move at the outset, accusing the Congress of trying to avoid public fury in civic body polls.
The All India Mayor in Council had also met the Governor recently, apprising him off their reservations against the proposed move. The Governor is said to have forwarded the letter from the mayor in council to the state government seeking a reply.
Former Bhopal Mayor Umashankar Gupta has already said that they have opposed the indirect election for mayors and civic body heads as it would lead to corruption. The direct elections were introduced by the Digvijaya Singh government, so what's the point in going back to indirect polls, he added.