Civic elections on Nov 22 in R'than

Model code in force, results on Nov 25

The state Election Commission enforced model code of conduct on Tuesday with announcement of election schedule of 46 municipal bodies including six municipal corporations in Rajasthan. Elections will be held on November 22 in a single phase and results will be declared on November 25.

“Nomination papers can be filed from November 7 to November 11. Candidates will be allowed to withdraw their names till November 12 after which polling will take place on November 22,” said Ram Lubhaya, state Election Commissioner.

Ram Lubhaya informed that elections will take place in six municipal corporations of Jaipur, Kota, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur and Bharatpur, 18 municipal councils and 22 municipalities where more than 63.09 lakh electors will cast their votes.

“In all there are 46 municipal bodies and 1,696 wards. Elaborated security arrangements have been made and all the preparations have been completed,” said Ram Lubhaya.
Interestingly the maximum election expenditure limit of candidates has been increased manifolds as compared to last year.

For municipal corporation the expenditure limit has been fixed at Rs 80,000, for municipal councils it is Rs 60,000 and for municipalities it will be Rs 40,000. In previous elections the limit was Rs 20,000, 15,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.

The local body elections have become important for both ruling BJP and opposition Congress especially after BJP’s defeat in Assembly by-election about a month back.
While PCC chief Sachin Pilot is working round the clock to revive Congress through the performance in local body elections, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje too has constituted separate team of her senior ministers to deal with these elections.

Any poor performance of ruling BJP in local body elections will raise serious questions on past 10 months of working of state government.

Local body elections 2014 will again be fought on the old pattern in which Mayors, chairmen and presidents of civic bodies are elected by winning councilors.

Immediately after coming to power, state government had scrapped the direct elections of all mayors, chairmen and presidents in Rajasthan. The direct election mechanism was first introduced by previous Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in the state.

The decision to reinstate the old system was taken following the bitter experience in functioning of the civic bodies due to frequent conflicts between directly elected Mayors or chairpersons and the councillors of opposite party having the majority in municipal corporation, council or board.

In Jaipur Municipal Corporation, BJP Councillors won majority and formed the board in 2009, but Mayor Jyoti Khandelwal of Congress party was directly elected by the people of the city.

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