TN civic polls to be delayed further, as term of special officers in local bodies extended

TN civic polls to be delayed further, as term of special officers in local bodies extended

The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday extended the term of special officers in municipal corporations, municipalities and panchayats by six more months.

Amidst protests by the Opposition, the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday passed two Bills — the Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Tamil Nadu Panchayats (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 — for extending the tenure of the special officers of the urban and rural local bodies for a period of six more months.

This is the fourth time that the Bills on the subject are being passed. This means the election for the local bodies would not be held any time soon.

The bills moved by Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani were opposed by DMK, Congress and IUML. Leaders of these parties urged the government to conduct polls to local bodies at the earliest as people were suffering in the absence of elected representatives.

They pointed out Central funds for local bodies could not be used because of this. The minister said all projects in local bodies were being executed by special officers and denied allegations of opposition MLAs that there were problems in local bodies.

Opposition MLAs said there was pressure on them in the absence of councillors as people expect them to solve issues like drinking water and sewage problems.

Velumani said polls could not be held as delimitation of wards was yet to be completed. The government was ready to conduct polls but they were stalled by petitions filed by DMK, he said.