BBMP Elections - A Challenge

An opportunity to be part of a Clean, Efficient and Transparent Governance Process

Dear Friends,

The Constitution of India mandates the participation of citizen's representatives in governance. This is the basic tenet of parliamentary democracy. Our constitution believes in the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The process of local self governance of cities was ushered in through the 74th amendment of the constitution. It is the duty of the state governments to hold the elections for the urban local bodies in time. According to this amendment, elections to the urban local bodies should be held on schedule, except in certain extraordinary circumstances. However in violation of the spirit of this legislation; many state governments have time and again postponed elections and have used this excuse to hand over the governance to bureaucrats. This is problematic and questionable.

Apart from not holding elections to urban and rural local bodies time to time as per the legal mandate the successive ruling governments irrespective of their party affiliation have thoroughly failed to put democratic systems in place to enable and empower the elected representatives at the local self government level to ensure effective decentralized administration. Instead, both bureaucracy and elected representatives at the higher level look upon the local self government representatives as lesser human beings. We are of the opinion that this is nothing but the conspiracy and deliberate effort from the ruling elite and bureaucracy to not empower local institutions and thereby to retain power and resources under their control to have monopoly on the power.

The BJP, that assumed power in the Karnataka in May 1998 too has continued this untenable practice. The present BJP government has continued the same administrator, who was appointed during the president's rule in the state, ruling over the BBMP. This decision of the government is condemnable and the motive behind this step is that the BJP is not sure of getting a clear majority if elections for BBMP are held.

Due to the directives of the Honorable High Court of Karnataka, the government is forced to conduct the BBMP elections and initiate steps in this direction.