The state government has taken control of municipal councils across the state, taking away the power of councillors to move no-confidence motions against their presidents on grounds that they are elected directly by the people since 2016 and not by councillors. Only the state can remove them if they receive complaints about him with proof, after due process of law, as per a cabinet decision on Tuesday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won many presidential elections in municipal councils even when the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in majority. But with the presidents now being given financial powers and also empowered to act as per directions from the government, the state can directly interfere in the administration of the council.
The Maharashtra Municipal Councils Act, 1965, was amended whereby the the councillors’ power to move no-confidence motion against the president two and a half years after election has been removed. Out of the 236 municipal councils in the state, a majority belong to the Congress-NCP, while BJP and its allies hold more than 90 presidential posts. They are finding it difficult to function in the face of Congress-NCP councillors.