Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Friday came out against his own government criticising the "hybrid model" which the state government announced recently for the forthcoming civic elections, making it a Congress versus Congress fight in the state.
According to the "hybrid model" -- as announced by state Urban Development Minister Shanti Dhariwal on October 15 -- a candidate in a civic election can become mayor, president and chairperson even without contesting an election or even after getting defeated in the election. A notification was issued in this regard.
Speaking to media, Pilot said, "I disagree with this decision of our government. This will weaken democracy and encourage back door entry of candidates. Imagine, a person who has not even won a corporator election is being allowed to become a mayor or a president of a local civic unit under this model. This does not go with rules of democracy which our party strongly believes in. So, I disagree with this kind of decision," he said.
Pilot said he had no clue of the decision being taken by a ministry. "I came to know about it from newspapers when I was in Maharashtra. Earlier, we had decided to go for direct elections and then we planned to go for indirect election. However, now the Urban Development Ministry has taken this decision to implement the hybrid model which is just not good. Further, this decision has been taken by a particular ministry which has neither been discussed in the cabinet meeting nor in the party organisation," Pilot said.
"I think elections should have been direct," he said.
The government had earlier announced indirect elections where corporators elected their mayor. This was yet another U-turn as during and post assembly elections, Chief Minster Ashok Gehlot had announced direct polls.
On Thursday, two state ministers asked for a review of the decision on "hybrid model" as they claimed they had received a negative feedback from party workers.
Criticising the model, state minister Ramesh Meena said it does injustice to all those workers who have been working hard on the ground.
"The state government's decision to carry out polls indirectly was welcomed by one and all. The change-over to a hybrid model in the next two days is beyond understanding. All workers remain hopeful of being nominated as mayor/president after winning the elections. This process would dash their hopes," said Meena.
Meena was supported by another Minister, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, who said: "The decision to bring in hybrid model was not discussed with party workers or even within the government. I am against this idea as it will limit the significance of councillors and weaken grassroots democratic institutions."
Meanwhile BJP's state president Satish Poonia said the way Deputy CM has spoken on the issue makes it clear that Congress stands divided on it and that there is a possibility that the party will split soon.
"It also shows that Congress doesn't stand united as the Deputy CM himself did not know about the development," said Poonia.
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