Maharashtra: SEC approves draft proposal of revised electoral ward boundaries

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State Election Commission (SEC) has approved a draft proposal of the revised electoral ward boundaries that increases wards under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from the existing 227 to 236.

The SEC has directed the civic body to put the draft notification of changed electoral ward boundaries in the public domain seeking suggestions and objections from citizens on February 1.

According to BMC officials, out of the nine wards to be increased, three wards each in island city (Colaba to Mahim and Sion), western suburb (Bandra to Dahisar) and eastern suburb (Kurla to Mulund and Mankhurd) have been added. However, the exact details of areas where the new wards are added and how many ward boundaries have been changed will be known after the draft is published for public suggestions and objections.

Political parties and citizens can send their suggestions and objections till February 14. After this, by February 16, the BMC’s election department will have to submit details of suggestions and objections before the state election body.

From February 16 to 26, a committee appointed by the SEC will give hearings to citizens. “The committee will submit the report with its recommendations before the SEC on March 2,” stated the SEC letter.

On January 28, SEC sent a letter to municipal commissioner I S Chahal directing the corporation to go ahead with the further poll procedure, which is likely to end by mid-March and the election can take place by the end of April. Now, officials from the civic body said that since the five-year term of the corporation is ending on March 8, an administrator is likely to be appointed to run the BMC till the time new body is formed.

On the OBC reservation part, the election commission has clarified that since the state government will submit data related to the OBC community before the State Backward Class Commission and after scrutiny, it will be submitted before them, the process of finalisation of electoral ward boundaries will be completed to ensure that election takes place in time.

“Since data submission of OBC communities will take time, it would be appropriate to finish the step of change in electoral ward boundaries to ensure that election takes place on time,” said an official from the election commission.

According to the approved draft proposal, as of now, the seats for the OBC reservation has been excluded. The average ratio of population in each ward has been kept at 52,722 considering the city’s total population of 1.24 crore.

Out of newly formed 236 seats,118 for women, 15 for SC (Schedule Caste) and 2 for ST (Schedule Tribe) will be reserved.

After the boundaries are finalized, the SEC will hold a lottery for reservation of seats and subsequently code of conduct will be announced.

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