BBMP withdraws ward reservation notification

BBMP withdraws ward reservation notification

Conflict between bureaucracy, politicians comes to the fore

While the time is running out for the government to get the elections done by mid-September to avoid the High Court’s wrath, the reservation of wards is yet to get its place in the government gazetteer.

According to sources in the government, the list of reserved BBMP wards was ready almost a month back and a copy was even sent to the Election Commission unofficially. The government awaited the Govindaraj Nagar by-poll results to release the list of reserved wards. However, the results went against the ruling party’s calculations. The list that was to be released soon after the by-poll results, could not be notified even after three days since the results were out.

Sources said the political leadership continued to be in a state of indecision despite continued pressure from the bureaucracy and the State election commission. To pass the buck on to the political leadership in case the High Court takes a stern view for overlooking its instruction, the bureaucracy decided to proceed further with the ready list.
The list was out on Saturday night. However, moments later the government withdrew it saying that the list required some correction.

“There were discrepancies in the list, which needed rectification. So the list was withdrawn,” said an officer in the urban development department. But the officer denied telling the ‘discrepancy’ which made the government withdraw the list.

Once the new list is out, the government will have to give at least one week to 15 days time to invite objections and suggestions. If the list is released on Tuesday, it will take at least ten days for the government to come out with the final notification. Once the final notification is out, the list will be sent to the Election Commission which will release the date of elections. Subsequently the political parties too need time to identify candidates and campaign.

“In the given scene the elections cannot take place well before mid-October. I even doubt government’s intention of holding the election,” said Ramachandrappa, former Mayor and Congress spokesperson.

He questioned if the government is frightened with the mandate given by the people of Bangalore in the Govindarajanagar elections.

The Congress on Monday demanded an explanation from Chief Minister Yeddyurappa for the State government’s decision to hastily withdraw the notification.

Addressing the press in Bangalore on Monday, Leader of the Opposition in Legislative Council V S Ugrappa termed withdrawal of the reservation list within hours after it was notified on Saturday as “undemocratic” and “unconstitutional”.

He charged that the Chief Minister is himself to be blamed for the withdrawal of the notification. He alleged that the government was not ready to hold the BBMP elections and was searching for an excuse to postpone the same.

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