Opinion on Mayor’s term divided

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The opinion on the term of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor is divided with the term of Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana and Deputy Mayor Indira scheduled to be over this month-end while the former argues that it is for a year. It may be recalled that the duo was elected on September 4, 2013.

Now, the Mayor has written to the government that his term is for a year and that he will remain in power till September 2014. In his letter dated April 4, 2014, to the Urban Development Department and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Mr. Sathyanarayana has said that as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, the term of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and standing committees is for one year.

However, his colleagues in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council disagree. According to them, if elections to the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor are not held this month, the term of the next Mayor, which is reserved for general (woman) category, will be cut short by six months, as the term of the BBMP council will end in April 2015. Explaining the circumstances in which he was elected, Mr. Sathyanarayana told The Hindu that the election to the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor was delayed last time as a case was filed in the Karnataka High Court challenging the reservation to the post of Deputy Mayor. The court passed its verdict in August after which the elections to the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor were held in September.

A senior councillor, on the condition of anonymity, agreed that the term of the Mayor is for one year. “However, the term is for one year from the day the BBMP council was formed. The delay in holding elections is inconsequential and the term of the incumbent Mayor will end this month,” he said.

Pointing out that the first term of the members and chairpersons of the 12 standing committees was for six months, he said that as per the legal opinion then, the elections to the post of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and for the 12 standing committees were held in April. “The same will apply this time around as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, the government is yet to respond to the Mayor’s letter.

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