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Janaagraha recommends five-year term for mayor

Bengaluru: Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, a not-for-profit organisation, has recommended a directly-elected mayor with a five-year term.

“A tenure of less than five years makes the position of the mayor largely ceremonial and inconsequential. A one-year term for the mayor is simply absurd. Mayors of megacities are significantly more disempowered in terms of the mode of election,” the annual survey of India’s City-Systems released by Janaagraha stated.

According to the survey, about 17% of the cities have a mayoral tenure of less than five years, in contrast to 100% of panchayat presidents having a tenure co-terminus with that of the panchayat.

“Only three (Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata) out of eight megacities provide for a mayoral tenure of five years, and none of the cities directly elect their mayors,” the report said.

“A directly-elected mayor with a five-year term is not a panacea for all ills but it certainly endows the position of mayor and the city government with greater credibility, stability and institutional continuity necessary for a strategic perspective. The provision for reservation by rotation based on which a sitting mayor cannot run for re-election makes it an unattractive proposition for dynamic, effective political leaders who have a vision and will to deliver transformative governance in cities,” the 116-page, which delves into different issues faced by urban cities, said.

Notably, several states do not hold elections for city councils on a timely basis. According to the analysis, over 1,400 cities in India, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Guwahati did not have mayors or elected councils – some for up to nine years.

(Published 25 October 2023, 23:44 IST)

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