- Financial difficulties led the Government to further decentralize administration by promoting local government through municipalities and district hoards.
- Local bodies were first formed between 1864 and 1868, but almost in every case, they consisted of nominated members and were presided over by the District Magistrates.
- The local bodies did not represent local self-government at all nor did the intelligent Indians accept them as such.
- The Indians looked upon them as instruments for the extraction of additional taxes from the people.
- In 1882, Lord Ripon Government laid down the policy of administering local affairs largely through rural and urban local bodies, a majority of whose members would be non-officials.
- The non-official members would be elected by the people wherever and whenever officials felt that it was possible to introduce elections.
- The resolution also permitted the election of a non-official as Chairman of a local body.
- The provincial acts were passed to implement this resolution.
- But the elected members were in a minority in all the district boards and in many of the municipalities.
- Elected members were, moreover, elected by a small number of voters since the right to vote was severely restricted.
- District officials continued to act as presidents of district boards though non-officials gradually became chairmen of municipal committees.
- The Government also retained the right to exercise strict control over the activities of the local bodies and to suspend and supersede them at its own discretion.
- The local bodies functioned just like departments of the Government and were in no way good examples of local self-government.
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