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|India's local government
February 2020: While India, like many other regions, has always had local councils of some sort, the mechanisms in existence today are rooted in the period during which it was a colony of the United Kingdom. A major foundation of the British roots of Indian local government was Lord Ripon’s resolution of May, 1882, on the subject of local self-government covering the structure and establishment of local bodies, their functions, finances and powers. This is the root of local self-government in post-Independence India.
The first municipal mechanism created during British rule was the Municipal Corporation introduced in Madras (Chennai today) in 1688, which was followed by municipal corporations in Bombay (Mumbai today) and Calcutta (Kolkata today) by 1762. Subsequently, Lord Mayo's Resolution of 1870 called for the introduction of an elected President in the municipalities. The current form and structure of municipal bodies is based on Lord Ripon's Resolution on local self-government adopted in 1882. Since then the structure of municipal bodies has essentially remained the same, even though the urban areas multiplied along with their increasingly complex problems.
Over the past couple of decades, India has seen the implementation and framing of efforts to modernise local government and has also revealed in the course of these efforts a commitment to local government that was hitherto a weak link in the Indian system. Nevertheless, it remains a system in transition that has room for further evolution to match its prevalent ground conditions. In addition to the areas to which attention has been drawn, the system also needs adequate quality control monitoring and capacity building mechanisms as well as additional reforms. FULL ARTICLE ON INDIA’S LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, the hitherto governing centre-left Indian National Congress party not only lost control of government but also influence in India’s largest cities. The party now controls only one (Kolkata) of the country’s top 25 cities. The mayors of all others are members of the BJP or local Hindu nationalist parties. The Chief Minister of Delhi, the National Capital Territory, belongs to the left-wing Aam Aadmi Party. A high proportion - 40 per cent - of mayors are women.
Main national political parties in India
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), centre-left, anti corruption, 1 seat in the 545-seat Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of parliament. Governs the capital Delhi since 2015.
All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), centre-left, 22/545 seats.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), centre-left, 10/545 seats.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Hindu nationalist, 303/545 seats.
Communist Party of India (CPI), Far-left, communist, 2/545 seats.
Communist Party of India (Marxist), (CPI/M), Communist, 3/545.
Indian National Congress (Congress party), centre-left, 52/545 seats.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Nationalist centre-left, 5/545 seats.
National People’s Party (NCP), Nationalist centrist, 1/545 seat.
Mayors of the largest Indian cities
*The research was carried out in November and December 2019
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