Even as the petition on the validity of the draw held to decide ward-wise reservations for the upcoming civic elections is slated to come up for hearing at the Bombay high court on Thursday, leaders across the political spectrum are keeping a close watch on developments to see if the court takes a sympathetic view of the plea.
The civic elections are scheduled to be held in February 2012.
In November 2011, Andheri resident Rupesh Andhari had moved the court pointing out that the State Election Commission (SEC) had used the census 2011 figures for conducting elections in Thane and Ulhasnagar, but had used the census 2001 figures to decide ward-wise reservations for civic elections in Mumbai.
The court had held that the election commission’s act of using 2001 census figures for 2012 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections was, prima facie, discriminatory.
“If the court upholds the petition, there is a chance that the election commission might have to re-draw the boundaries, which will mean postponement of the civic polls,” said Kripashankar Singh, city Congress party chief.
Congress corporator Dharmesh Vyas said that it was unfair that reservation lots were drawn based on the 2001 census figures.
“The population of the city in 2011 is at least 60% more than 2001. The wards need to be redefined,” Vyas said.
BJP leader in the civic body Ashish Shelar said that the possibility of the elections being postponed could not be ruled out.
The Shiv Sena that is in power in the civic body is in the process of charting out an alternate plan. “We are preparing ourselves by pushing our campaign ahead,” said a Sena legislator.
However, when HT contacted state election commissioner Neela Satyanarayan, she said, “The elections will take place as per constitutional provisions.”