The elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, or MCD, will be held on December 4, the State Election Commission announced on Friday. State election commissioner Vijay Dev said the model code of conduct will be in force from today. The poll results will be announced on December 7, he added.
Dev said the MCD elections will be notified on November 7, while the last date of filing nominations is November 14. The scrutiny of nominations will take on November 16 and candidates can withdraw from the electoral contest till November 19.
The polls were to be held in April, but were cancelled hours before the schedule was to be announced as the central government wanted to carry out a delimitation exercise by unifying the three civic bodies and decreasing the number of wards. He said polling will be held in a total of 250 wards, as per the home ministry’s notification.
In a press conference held for the announcement of the dates, the Delhi SEC said the ongoing term of the municipal body expired in May, but elections could not be held due to the delimitation exercise and the unification of three civic bodies into one.
“The term of MCD expired in May, but we could not conduct the elections then because of unification. Now, we are in a situation where we are prepared for MCD elections. Polling stations were redrawn and we are prepared for 250 wards in Delhi. The MCD has jurisdiction in 68 assembly constituencies. A total of 42 seats are reserved for SCs (Scheduled Caste),” said state election commissioner Vijay Dev.
Dev added: “Out of those 42 seats for SCs, 21 seats will be for SC women while 104 seats will be reserved for women in all.”
Here is all you need to know about the MCD polls:
- The Centre unified the national capital’s three municipal corporations under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and reduced the total number of wards to 250 from 272. As per 2011 census, 42 seats will be reserved for Scheduled Castes of which 21 will be for SC women, said SEC Vijay Dev. He added that there will be a total of 104 seats reserved for women.
- The polling will be held on December 4, while the counting of votes will take place on December 7. Dev said the MCD elections will be notified on November 7, while the last date of filing nominations is November 14. The scrutiny of nominations will take on November 16 and candidates can withdraw from the electoral contest till November 19.
- Dev said there were a total of 1.46 crore voters in Delhi. Polling stations now stood at 13,665, he added. The MCD elections will be conducted on electronic voting machines. There are a total of 68 returning officers, while the model code of conduct is in force from today. The state election commissioner further said the expenditure limit for wards is Rs 8 lakh, and a ‘Nigam Chunav Delhi’ app will be launched to file complaints and know all details with regard to the polls.
- The BJP, which has governed the civic bodies since 2007, is pitted against a resurgent Aam Aadmi Party and Congress. The grand old party has even approached the high court stating that it is against the holding of the elections, as it feels that the delimitation exercise did not reflect equal representation and population of wards. The court, however, has not yet put a stay on the polls.
- As for the Delhi BJP, it has hinted at not repeating outgoing councillors on at least 60 to 70 per cent wards. There were reports that the saffron party will replace all its sitting councillors with new faces, but the party said these were “technically incorrect”.
- A senior BJP leader said not more than 30 per cent sitting councillors will have the chance to be repeated this time even if the party decided so. “With several factors playing out like reduced number of wards, rotation of reserved seats for women and SC candidates and delimitation, almost 60-70 per cent sitting councillors will effectively lose the claim over party ticket,” the senior leader added.
- The BJP leader said there were several reasons why the party was looking to prop up new faces – mainly rotation of wards due to which seats earlier reserved for women or SC have now become general. Vice versa, many general wards have become reserved. Delimitation has also affected the voter composition of wards, thereby requiring candidate change, the leader said. The BJP said two surveys – one by the central leadership and the other by the Delhi unit – were being conducted for effective candidate selection for the MCD polls.
- The Congress, meanwhile, has received over 1,000 applications from ticket seekers. The party will be streamlining its candidate selection process in back-to-back meetings on Saturday and Sunday, said Delhi unit chief Anil Kumar. He said his party was ready for the polls and there was enthusiasm among the workers to fight on the party symbol. The applications were received till October 31.
- The ruling AAP is also conducting a survey to find suitable candidates with winning potential, said sources in the party.
- In 2017 polls, the BJP had won 181 out of 270 wards. No polling could be held on two seats due to the death of candidates. The AAP had won 48 wards, while the Congress managed to win 27 wards.
(With PTI inputs)
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