Indian-origin politician sworn in as Mayor of German city

Indian-origin politician sworn in as Mayor of German cityBERLIN: Indian-origin politician Ashok Sridharan has been sworn in as the Mayor of Bonn, pledging to make the former German capital a major investment destination and the European hub of UN institutions.

49-year-old Sridharan, who is the son of a migrant from India and a German mother was sworn in during a ceremony in Bonn’s municipal council yesterday in presence of the councilors and representatives of the public.

As a candidate of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Sridharan had polled 50.06 per cent of the votes in the mayoral election on September 13 to wrest power from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which ruled the city for more than 21 years.

Sridharan is the first person of Indian-origin to become the head of administration in a major German city. He kicked off his five-year term on Wednesday by symbolically taking over the power from his SPD predecessor Juergen Nimptsch, who retired after six years in office.

Nimptsch announced at the end of last year that he will not seek another term when his current term expires in October.

In his maiden address to the city council, Sridharan pledged to work for building up Bonn as a location for investments, as a centre for international conferences and as a European hub of UN agencies and institutions.

He said he would engage himself together with the German federal government to attract more UN institutions and non-governmental organizations to the former German capital, which already hosts about a dozen UN agencies.
Sridharan said his goal is to get the official status of a UN city for Bonn. Another priority for his administration is to ensure that Bonn will continue to be the location for several German federal ministries as agreed between the city administration and the federal government when the capital was shifted to Berlin around 20 years ago.

“Thousands of jobs in and around Bonn are dependent on the continued presence of the federal ministries in the city,” he said.

His administration also has plans to use the 250th birth anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven in 2020 to popularize Bonn abroad as a “Beethoven city” and to expand the annual music festival dedicated to the city’s most prominent son.

Sridharan studied law at Bonn University after completing high school education and in 1996, he joined the municipal administration in the nearby town of Koenigswinter.

He gained more than 21 years of experience in municipal administration by working in various departments. In 2002, he was promoted as an assistant to the town’s mayor and he held that post until his election last month.–PTI

0 - 0

Thank You For Your Vote!

Sorry You have Already Voted!