The state election commissioner , JS Saharia, is scheduled to announce the dates of the elections for ten municipal corporations, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and 26 district councils at 4 pm
Besides the BMC, nine other corporations, including Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nagpur will go to polls in February. Similary, 26 of the 34 district councils, along with 296 panchayat samitis will go to polls next month. This accounts for more than 80% of the total voters in the state.
The ruling BJP dominated the first phase of polls in the state in which elections were held for civic bodies governing small cities. This phase will now see a fierce battle between four prominent parties. While the BJP and Shiv Sena will try to win maximum civic bodies, the opposition parties, the Congress and NCP, will make an attempt to retain power in district bodies. The outcome of this election may set the tone for the 2019 assembly polls.
JS Saharia has already announced that owing to the annual exams in the schools and colleges, the State Election Commission (SEC) has decided to hold all elections in February. He has also said that the SEC will ensure that elections for corporations and district councils will be held simultaneously.
The SEC is expected to hold the elections for 332 bodies in two phases in the second and third week of February. With the central security forces unlikely to be allotted in the state, the SEC will also have to keep in mind the deployment of state security forces while finalising the poll dates. According to a highly-placed source, the commission will also have to consider the fact that Mumbai and Thane account for the highest number of the voters and the possibility of a close fight between major parties in these two cities while announcing the poll dates.
The municipal corporation going for polls
Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Amravati, Akola and Nagpur.