Delhi civic polls on April 15 (Second Lead)

March 1st, 2012 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) Elections to the recently trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the city’s main civic body, will be held April 15, state Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta said Thursday.

An estimated 11,278,000 Delhi residents will be eligible to vote in the polls from south, north and east Delhi zones. The model code of conduct for the political parties will be in place from March 5. The balloting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

“Elections to all three MCDs will be held on the same day and votes polled will be taken up for counting on April 17. Filing of nominations for all 272 wards will begin on March 19, while the last date for filing of nominations is March 26,” Mehta said.

The announcement for the polls came a day after the Delhi High Court dismissed a batch of petitions that sought quashing of notification by the state EC reserving seats for scheduled caste candidates and women. The litigants had questioned the method adopted by the SEC for declaring the reserve seats.

The tenure of the current MCD comes to an end April 5.

The state poll panel is also focussing on increasing the voter turnout for gthe civic polls.

“Last time the voter percentage was 42 percent, we are trying to increase the voters’ turnout to at least 60 percent. We are planning out for a multimedia campaign, we are likely to include social media, but we have not finalised it yet,” Mehta said.

In order to increase the voter percentage, for the first time in MCD polls the voters will be given slip with details like their designated polling station.

“In this election, booth level officer (BLO) would be deployed by the state Election Commission (SEC) and will send a slip to the voters a week before the election which will have voters’ name, number of the polling station and their serial number in the voter list. This is a step to encourage the voters to come out and vote,” Mehta said.

“From the previous experience we have known that many voters don’t know which is their polling station,” he added.

According to the SEC, about 12,000 polling stations will be located in 2,700 buildings and 70,000 polling personnel will be deployed for the poll.

“The three new corporations which have been set up would make a qualitative difference in providing civic services to the citizens of Delhi and we hope more citizens would cast their vote, as the services of the civic body is needed from cradle to crematorium,” Mehta added.

The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Delhi Assembly on Dec 1, paving the way for trifurcation of the capital’s monolith municipal corporation.

Accordingly, the MCD will be split into North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations and 50 percent of total 272 seats will be reserved for women as against 33 percent now.

The north and south Delhi bodies will have 104 wards each, while the civic body in east Delhi will have 64 wards.

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