MDMK demands direct elections for local, urban body heads

by IANS |

Chennai, Nov 8 (IANS) The MDMK has demanded that direct elections be held for the post of president/ chairman of rural and urban local bodies.

A meeting of the MDMK leaders at Tenkasi on Sunday urged both the state and central governments to amend the laws and bring the posts under direct elections.

Party Tenkasi District secretary, T.M. Rajendran said that the present system of indirect election of the heads of local bodies is turning into a major money-spinner with crores of rupees being spent for clinching the posts.

The party Tenkasi district unit also passed a resolution for the need of direct elections stating that indirect elections are tantamount to corruption and horse-trading thus subverting the idea of democracy.

MDMK leader and Member of Tamil Nadu legislative Assembly from Vasudevanallur constituency, Sathan Thirumalaikumar while speaking to IANS said, "Both the central and state governments must bring amendments to the elections to the posts of presidents and Chairpersons to the local bodies.

"If direct elections are held it would reflect the people's will and indirect elections are leading to crores of rupees changing hands and those who attain these posts by spending money will try to retrieve the money they spent on these. This would indirectly subvert our democratic system at the local body level and strengthening local bodies is the most important factor in our democratic system."

A constitutional amendment is required for changing the elections to the post of panchayat union council and district panchayat council by the central government. However, for bringing indirect elections to the post of corporation mayor and municipal and town panchayat chairman posts, the state government can itself bring in a Bill or an amendment in the state Legislative Assembly.

The MDMK leaders told IANS that the resolution of Tenkasi district committee of the party is applicable across the state for the party and that it would fight for making direct elections possible to the rural and urban local body president/ chairman posts.

In the recent rural local body elections, the DMK led front had registered a thumping win in all the nine districts where elections were held. However, issues of corruption and money to the tune of crores changing hands for clinching the post of president in rural panchayat council and district panchayat council had come out in the open. This prompted the MDMK to take a political stand against the same.

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