Bhubaneswar: The state government has issued draft rules to conduct direct election to the posts of mayors and chairpersons in all urban local bodies (ULBs) of the state.
The Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department has issued notification inviting objections and suggestions on the same within a month. The new rule will be called ‘Odisha Municipal (Delimitation of Wards, Reservation of Seats and Conduct of Election) Rules, 2021’.
At present, the mayors and chairpersons of other civic bodies are elected from among the corporators and councillors respectively. Once the new rules come into effect, voters will elect their own corporators/councillors, mayors and municipality/NAC chairpersons during the urban polls, official sources said.
In September 2018, the state Assembly had passed an amendment to Odisha Municipal Act and the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, to insert the provision of direct election for mayors in municipal corporations and chairpersons in the municipality and notified area councils (NACs).
As the chief of ULBs are more concerned about development of their own wards instead of the development of the entire town, the government had decided to go for direct poll. The move is also expected to curb horse trading.