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Corporators or councillors switching loyalties will be disqualified for 6 years

In a bid to dissuade netas from making flip-flops and jumping parties at the drop of a hat, the Maharashtra government has proposed tougher norms in anti-defection law that would disqualify a corporator or councillor for six years for switching loyalties.

Ahead of the polls in major municipal corporations and zilla parishads, the state government has proposed to disqualify a corporator for six years for switching loyalties. So far, the disqualification was restricted only to the tenure of the corporator. The rural development department introduced a bill, the Maharashtra Local Authority Members’ Disqualification (Amendment) Act 1986 in the ongoing winter session at Nagpur, proposing the said amendment. The Bill is yet to be discussed in the house. As per the new amendment: “For the effective action of disqualification intended by the said act, it is proposed if a councillor or a member belonging to any political party, aghadi or front is disqualified for being councillor or a member for six years from the date of his disqualification”. The power for disqualification of the members has been vested with the collector in case of zilla parishads, municipal councils and panchayat committees. For municipal corporations, the commissioner can take the decision. “It is also proposed that the commissioner or the collector shall take such decision within a period of one year,” the amendment bill said.

The amendment has been introduced by the rural development department as it found out that the existing act is not sufficient to deal with the defection among the councillors and corporators. “The act was enacted to prevent the defection in local authorities. Sub section (1) of section 3 of the said act provides the grounds of defection for disqualification for being a councillor or member of the local authorities. Section 3A provides for disqualification for is disqualified appointment on remunerative political post. The said provisions are not adequate and effective to prevent the councillor or member from anti-defection,” the bill has explained.

The amendment if passed by the Assembly will make the local bodies members difficult to change parties. Last month, the Nationalist Congress Party had demanded the disqualification of five NCP corporators from Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation who joined BJP before the polls.

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