Bills on local bodies face stiff opposition

The ordinances were issued after the Madras high court cancelled the local body polls scheduled for October 2016.

Chennai: Bills replacing the ordinances issued to extend the special officers' term for six months (till June 30) from December 2016, to administer local bodies in Tamil Nadu were introduced in the state Assembly on Monday amidst protest by the DMK, Congress and the IUML.

Also, a Bill to enhance penalties for contravening the provisions of Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act 1919 and another Bill to amend TN Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1955 aimed at rationalisation of fee structure were introduced.

Through separate ordinances were issued in October last, special officers were appointed to administer village panchayats, panchayat union councils, district panchayats, town panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations till December 31, 2016, as the local body elections could not be held on expiry of the tenure of the existing bodies. The ordinances were issued after the Madras high court cancelled the local body polls scheduled for October 2016, and ordered issuance of fresh notification to complete the poll process before December 31, 2016.

Municipal administration minister S. P. Velumani who moved the Bills stated that the government had decided to extend the term of offices of the special officers till June 30 as the State Election Commission had stated that the current electoral roll of the TN legislative Assembly would be the basis for panchayat electoral roll. Only after receipt of this roll, the SEC would be in a position to prepare the corresponding panchayat electoral rolls.

“The SEC has further stated that the annual examination for school students including HSC and SSLC are scheduled to be held between March 2, and middle of April 2017 and most of the polling personnel drafted are teaching staff and therefore they cannot be deployed for election duties for conducting local bodies elections. Also most of the school premises are used as polling station which would be available only after the annual examination and valuation of answer sheets in April and hence the present amendment,” he said.

TN House condoles soldiers death in J&K avalanches

Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday condoled the death of soldiers in avalanches in Jammu and Kashmir on Jan 26.

Speaker P. Dhanapal read an obituary reference over the deaths of soldiers including two from Tamil Nadu, E. lavarasan and Sundarapandi. The House observed two minutes silence. The state government has already announced a solatium of '20 lakh each to the families of the two soldiers.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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