RAIPUR: The opposition BJP in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday staged a protest against the decision of the Congress government on reverting to ballot papers for the indirect mayoral elections in the urban local bodies polls due later this year
In a clear indication to do away with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), a cabinet sub-committee formed by the Chhattisgarh government reviewed the existing mechanism on local urban body elections and recommended to opt for ballot papers. The ministerial panel also agreed to hold indirect elections for mayors, the decision also taken by the Congress government in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
"The recommendations will now be tabled before the state cabinet for approval”, said the state urban development minister Shiv Kumar Dahariya who further hinted of a possible ordinance on amending the state Municipal Elections Act to facilitate the use of ballot papers in the forthcoming urban local body polls besides the indirect Mayoral elections.
In protest, BJP held a one-day sit-in demonstration in the state capital where the party leaders expressed their concern over the state government’s decision. Voicing their disapproval citing ‘Save Democracy’ the saffron leaders stood united against the proposed decision to conduct the civic bodies’ elections indirectly and through the ballot papers instead of EVMs.
After the protest, the senior party leaders handed over a memorandum to the governor against the decision urging him to not to give consent to the ordinance. Leader of opposition Dharamlal Kaushik called the decision of the cabinet sub-committee against the existing essence of democracy. “It appears the Congress is scared of losing the urban body elections after the poll debacle it faced in the Lok Sabha in Chhattisgarh this year,” he averred.