The Punjab local bodies department has proposed to hold the civic body polls in two phases on February 20 and 25 next year. The department has recommended holding the polls to six municipal corporations by February 20 and that of 123 other civic bodies by February 25.
In a communication sent to the state election commission, the department has said that the process of delimitation would be complete by December 29, following which the commission can begin the election process. As per the procedure, the commission needs 50 to 60 days to prepare for the polls.
Of the total 168 civic bodies in the state, 123 municipal councils and notified area committees, besides six municipal corporations, are due for polls. These corporations are Bathinda, Phagwara, Hoshiarpur, Moga, SAS Nagar and Pathankot. Five corporations, except that of Bathinda, have been elevated from the municipal council and are going to the polls as corporations for the first time. Polls are not due for the time being in the municipal corporations of Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala.
According to the local bodes department, the delimitation of municipal corporations would be complete by December 19 and that of municipal councils and notified area committees by December 29. The process of delimitation began six months ago.
Civic body polls in Punjab have been due since July last year, but these are yet to be held due to the delay in the delimitation process. Delimitation takes place every 10 years, coinciding with the population census.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ruling alliance partners in Punjab, had on November 26 decided to contest the civic body polls jointly. However, a day later, state BJP president Kamal Sharma had stated that his party would not let the Akalis browbeat its workers.
In the newly-formed municipal corporations, the BJP would have mayoral candidates in Phagwara, Pathankot and Hoshiarpur, and the SAD in Moga and SAS Nagar, as per the arrangement between the two parties. Of the old corporations, the BJP would have mayoral candidates in Amritsar and Jalandhar, and the SAD would have mayors in Ludhaina, Bathinda and Patiala.