The fresh reservation of wards has given Mayor-in-Council (MiC) members and corporators fresh hopes of a return to their constituencies. The ward reservation will be carried out afresh after governor Ramnaresh Yadav okayed expansion of municipal limits by the addition of 29 villages, clearing the decks for civic polls.
Before the elections are held, however, the ward delimitation, reservation and revision of electoral rolls will have to be carried out.
The reservation has generated hopes among elected representatives that, with a little luck, they might be able to contest the polls from constituencies they nurtured for five years. All MiC members, as well as several other corporators were rendered ineligible after their constituencies were reserved for a caste or gender to which they didn’t belong.
"Every elected representative puts in years of hard work in his area. Naturally, he or she would like to reap the benefits during the elections. But the reservation denied this chance to many corporators," said an MiC member.
In case their seat is reserved for a woman candidate most corporators rely on a simple expedient — get the ticket allotted to their wives or some other female member of the family. Take Sheikh Aleem and his wife Fauzia Sheikh for instance.
Between them the couple has bagged the ward No 51 seat four times since 1994. Sheikh Aleem held the seat from 1994 to 2004 and his wife got a ticket in the two subsequent elections during both of which the seat was reserved for a woman candidate. Aleem who also holds organisational posts is now lobbying for a Congress ticket for the mayor’s seat for his wife.
The Indore mayor’s seat is reserved for a woman candidate from the general category. Both BJP and Congress corporators have already begun lobbying their respective party higher-ups for tickets from their constituencies if the reservation of wards proves favourable.
The reservation of wards was carried out earlier on the basis of 85 wards, after the 29 villages were brought within the municipal fold. However, the high court quashed the expansion following a petition filed by advocate Anil Trivedi who declared that the expansion should be notified by the Governor as per law.
The governor cleared the expansion of Indore municipal limits on Wednesday. However, the entire exercise of ward revision, delimitation and revision of electoral rolls has to be carried out afresh before polls can be held.