4 min read.Updated: 12 Jul 2017, 02:27 AM ISTLivemint
There are not enough champions of better urban governance in major political parties
Last week, the Maharashtra cabinet approved a proposal for direct election of the village sarpanch, the head of the gram panchayat. An ordinance to this effect is in the pipeline. Earlier, the sarpanch was elected indirectly, by elected representatives. This decision might have been politically motivated, for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had benefited immensely from the May 2016 decision of the Devendra Fadnavis government to revive direct elections for municipal council presidents. In the subsequent elections for more than 4,700 councillor seats across 218 towns, the BJP’s tally—the highest—stood at 1,109 councillors and 71 municipal council presidents.