Poll panel announces ULB elections on Mar 7

Poll panel announces ULB elections on Mar 7

SEC to hold polls based on 2007 ward reservation list

Armed with a Supreme Court judgment, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday announced a schedule for the much delayed elections to the 208 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

As per the schedule, polling will be held on March 7 and  counting of ballots is scheduled for March 11. The model code of conduct will come into effect from Friday. The state government has been barred from announcing new plans and schemes till the election process is completed.

The announcement has put an end to a last ditch attempt by the government to avert the elections at this stage by hurriedly adopting an amendment  to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act and the Karnataka Municipalities Act in the state legislature on Wednesday.

State Governor H R Bhardwaj had declined to give his assent to the amendment. If the amendment had become a law, it would have required the commission to seek the government’s concurrence for holding elections.

Addressing reporters, State Election Commissioner C R Chikmath said the SEC has decided to hold the elections based on the 2007 ward reservation list (prepared according to the 2001 population census) since the government failed to provide a revised list.

“The government has not provided the revised reservation list despite the Supreme Court direction. Hence, deputy commissioners of all districts have been directed to publish the 2007 reservation list,” he said.

Seven city corporations (excluding Bangalore), 43 city municipal corporations, 65 town municipal councils and 93 town panchayats, covering a total of 4,976 wards, will go to the polls. The City corporations are as follows: Davanagere, Bellary, Gulbarga, Mysore, Mangalore, Belgaum and Hubli-Dharwad. There will be 10,482 polling stations.

“The government should extend full cooperation in view of the SC order. It is the duty of the government to provide all assistance. Our only intention is to follow the court order.

There is no personal interest in it,” Chikmath said. Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jharkiholi said the government will extend full cooperation to conduct free and fair polls. On Wednesday, the apex court had rejected a plea for postponing the ULB elections and directed the government to extend full cooperation to the SEC in this regard.

Calendar of events

*Date on which DCs will issue notification -   Feb 16
*Last date for filing nominations -   Feb 23
*Scrutiny of nominations  -  Feb 25
*Last date for nomination withdrawal -   Feb 27
*Day of polling -   March 7
*Repoll, if necessary  -  March 9
*Counting of votes -   March 11
*Date before which elections to be completed -  March 11

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