FPJ Exclusive: Cabinet push; One ward, one corporator

Mumbai: To do away with the system of electing four corporators from every ward in the municipal councils and corporations except Mumbai, the Maharashtra cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, will clear amendments to the rules.

This move is necessary, as during the winter session, the state legislature had passed the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, to return to the one ward-one corporator system.

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Maha Vikas Aghadi partners Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have scrapped the existing system of electing four corporators to checkmate the BJP in the 2022 civic elections.

The Congress and the NCP, in particular, had argued that introducing the election of four corporators in every ward, instead of just one in 2016 had helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) consolidate its strength across the state.

It was known as ‘Prabhag’ (panel) system in municipal bodies across the state. Because of the amendment in the Act and the new rules now there will be a one ward-one corporator system. This is crucialas elections to the 10 municipal corporations are slated for 2022.

Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde defended the government's move, saying the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed to make every councillor accountable and also avoid conflicts among councillors elected from a single ward.

He said the system existent from 2016 had created an atmosphere of confusion and stalled development work in the wards. NCP leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had argued that the multi-councillor system gives undue benefits to the party in power but parties with a scarcity of resources suffer the most.

However, the BJP had strongly opposed the amendment of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act.