The directorate of urban local bodies (ULB) issued a notification on categorisation of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) wards on Friday, ending speculation on the trimming of seats reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Other Backward Classes (OBC). The notification confirmed that the Mayor’s seat will be reserved for an SC candidate for the polls that are expected to be held in March.
The number of seats reserved for SCs, OBCs and women remains unchanged.
Six of the 35 wards are reserved for SC candidates, including two women. Two seats are reserved for OBC candidates. In addition, 12 wards are reserved for women to ensure that 33% representation is maintained. The remaining 15 wards are open for general candidates.
While issuing an order to reduce the number of wards from 35 to 32 in March, the ULB had also decided to reduce the number of total seats reserved for SC candidates to three, including one for a woman candidate, 11 for women overall and the remaining for the general category. The decision was taken upon reviewing the proposal submitted by an adhoc committee formed to demarcate wards and oversee elections.
The notification assumes importance as the former councillors were contemplating on procuring a stay from the Punjab and Haryana high court citing discrepancy in the number of seats being reserved in the upcoming election.
If the ex-councillors had succeeded in getting a stay, the election that has been pending since June 2016, could have been delayed indefinitely.
Residents can oppose or suggest changes to the notification till January 23. The final notification is expected to be released by mid-February and the election dates and voters’ list will be released.
“All opposition or changes recommended by the public regarding redrawing of wards will be reviewed and incorporated accordingly. The same will be reverted to the ULB and election dates will then be released adhering to the court’s order,” Amit Khatri, additional commissioner of MCG said.
The MCG is slated to go to polls in March following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court in December.