Urban local body polls to be held on May 4, 11 in Uttar Pradesh


LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission on Sunday announced urban local body polls in two phases, on May 4 and 11, three months after the high court quashed the government’s draft notification providing OBC reservation in the elections.

State Election Commissioner (SEC) Manoj Kumar issued the notification in this regard. ”The voting for the urban local body polls will be held on May 4 and 11. The counting of votes will take place on May 13,” he told reporters here.

Model code of conduct across the state has come into force after the issuance of the election notification. ”There will be elections for a total of 14,684 posts in 760 urban local bodies in the state,” SEC Kumar later said in a statement. Earlier in the day, the state government released the final list of reserved seats for mayors of municipal corporations, chairpersons of city councils and city panchayats.

As per the final list, the mayor seat in Agra has been reserved for SC (female), Jhansi for SC, Shahjahanpur and Firozabad for OBC (female), Saharanpur and Meerut for OBC, and Lucknow, Kanpur and Ghaziabad reserved for women. Eight mayor seats of Varanasi, Prayagraj, Aligarh, Bareilly, Moradabad, Gorakhpur, Ayodhya, Mathura-Vrindavan will be unreserved, the government notification said.

The Supreme Court on March 27 had paved the way for holding the local body polls as it allowed the SEC to issue a notification in this regard with an OBC quota following a report of the Uttar Pradesh Backward Classes Commission.

The state government had moved the top court with its appeal against the December 27 order of the Allahabad High Court, saying the high court cannot quash the December 5 draft notification which provided for reservation of seats in the urban civic body polls for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) apart from those for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women.

After the high court’s December 27 order, the government had appointed a five-member commission for going into the entire gamut of issues for providing reservation to the OBCs in the civic body polls.

The Lucknow bench of the high court had ordered that the state government notify the polls ”immediately” as the term of several municipalities would end by January 31.

In his statement on Sunday, SEC Kumar also said elections will be held for 17 seats of mayor, 1,420 of corporator, 199 of nagar palika parishad chairperson, 5,327 of nagar palika parishad member, 544 of nagar panchayat chairperson and 7,178 seats of nagar panchayat member.

Kumar had said on April 3 that after receiving the final information of reservation by the state government, the notification of the state’s local body elections would be issued.

On Sunday, Kumar said that for the first phase of polling, the process of submitting nomination papers will start from April 11 and continue till April 17. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on April 18 while April 20 will be the last date for withdrawal of nominations. The commission has fixed April 21 as the date for allotment of election symbols.

Giving details about the second phase, the SEC said that the process of submission of nomination papers will start from April 17 and it will continue till April 24. The scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on April 25 and the date for withdrawal of nominations has been fixed for April 27.

The commission has fixed April 28 as the date for allotment of election symbols for the second phase of the polls. Kumar said that 37 districts of Saharanpur, Moradabad, Agra, Jhansi, Prayagraj, Lucknow, Devipatan, Gorakhpur and Varanasi divisions would go to polls in the first phase, while 38 districts of Meerut, Bareilly, Aligarh, Kanpur, Chitrakoot, Ayodhya, Basti, Azamgarh and Mirzapur divisions would go to polls in the second phase.

The local body elections will witness the political parties, including the ruling BJP and principal opposition Samajwadi Party, trying to strengthen themselves ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The politically crucial state sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

There has been an increase of 107 local bodies as compared to 2017 when the urban body elections were last held. The new urban bodies consist of one municipal corporation, one municipal council and 105 nagar panchayats. As compared to 2017, this time around 96.33 lakh more voters will exercise their voting rights. According to the State Election Commission, this year more than 4.32 crore people will use their franchise in the civic polls as against 3.35 crore in the 2017 elections.

Source: Press Trust of India

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