“Reservation of the post of mayor on the basis of the 2011 census, legal provisions”

The reservation scheme, drawn up for the post of mayor of 12 out of 21 municipal corporations in Tamil Nadu, is based on 2011 census data and legal provisions for urban local government, according to a senior government official.

On Monday, the state government issued a notification, bringing Chennai and 11 other companies into some form of reserve. Chennai and one of its neighboring societies, Tambaram, have been set aside for Scheduled Castes (SCs-women), while another neighboring civic body, Avadi, has been set apart for SCs and Kancheepuram for women (general ).

Two other clusters from neighboring societies – Madurai and Dindigul, and Coimbatore and Erode – have been covered by the program, and the four local bodies are for women (general). In total, there are three reservation categories – SC, SC (women) and women (general).

Stressing that there is “no room for manipulation” in the reserve, the manager indicates that what must first be determined is the number of positions to be reserved for CSs. Applying the principle of population, the number arrived at 3. When the authorities listed the 21 municipalities in descending order based on the proportion of SC population, the top three local bodies were Tambaram, Chennai and Avadi. Among them, Tambaram and Chennai were selected for SC (women) due to higher female population and 50% female quota. Authorities again listed the remaining 18 societies in descending order based on share of female population. Nine were chosen for women (overall), given the 50% quota rule.

While doing this exercise, another factor was kept in mind. This concerned the status of the position in each municipal corporation in 2011. As the law required that if the position of mayor in a municipal corporation was reserved for one category, it could remain so for two full terms or 10 years. Although no election could be held in 2016, authorities relied on the fact that 10 years had passed since the last reservation. This is why Tiruchi, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi, reserved for women in 2011, have been de-reserved. Similarly, Vellore, reserved for SC (women) in 2011, is now kept for women (general).

Similarly, if a municipality, reserved for women in 2011, was subsequently reclassified as a municipal corporation, the post of mayor was de-reserved this time. For example, Thanjavur and Nagercoil, which were women-only (general) municipalities in 2011, have now been released from the scheme. For the post of mayor, the municipal corporations which are not covered by the reservation scheme are Tiruchi, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruppur, Thoothukudi, Thanjavur, Nagercoil, Hosur and Kumbakonam.

The official clarified that what has been followed with regard to municipal corporations has been adopted in the case of municipalities and city panchayats.

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