From October, expect more women political representatives in Tamil Nadu. Responding to the special bill introduced by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in February, the state rural development ministry and revenue authorities have now passed orders to Collectors to enhance the number of wards in civic bodies through delimitation, so that women can be given 50 per cent reservation.
“The voters can now elect soft-spoken women candidates as their ward representatives. Most local bodies in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur have witnessed population influx and the delimitation will help civic authorities to have more representatives to take up public issues”, said a senior state official.
For instance, a village panchayat ward should have only about 500 voters, but there are wards with more than 1,500 votes and this needs to be decentralised for better civic administration.
After the state passes the notification of new wards, civic polls will be conducted as per the revised delimitation. The municipal commissioner and executive officer for town panchayats have been empowered to make recommendations to the collectorate on the issue, the official added.
“It’s a welcome move by the state and women will now have more freedom and representation in the council halls,” said congress councillor Sheela Prabhakaran of Tambaram municipality.
“The wards in civic bodies were classified 25 years back. Since then no efforts were taken to delimit the ward boundaries and this is a good move as it will decentralise the public and their civic issues,” opined DMK councillor Kalaichelvi Jothikumar welcoming the State’s decision cutting across party lines.