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Punjab: Polls in 3 corporations, 32 councils on Dec 17

Elections in four municipal corporations — Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala and Ludhiana — were due in September, but were delayed due to non-preparedness on the part of the government.

punjab Updated: Nov 30, 2017 21:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab civic polls,Election commission,Punjab news
Punjab election commissioner Jagpal Singh Sidhu addressing a press conference at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh on Thursday.(Sanjeev Sharma/HT )

The elections in three municipal corporations of Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala, and 32 municipal councils and notified area committees of smaller cities and towns of Punjab will be held on December 17.

State election commissioner Jagpal Singh Sidhu said the election process will begin on December 2, with the commission issuing a notification in this regard.

The model code of conduct will come into effect immediately after the issuance of poll notification and continue till December 20. “Polling will be held on December 17, counting will be taken up immediately thereafter and the results will be announced on the same day,” he said.

The municipal polls will be held in urban belts of 17 of the total 22 districts in the state.

Elections in four municipal corporations — Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala and Ludhiana — were due in September, but were delayed due to non-preparedness on the part of the government.

Polls in Ludhiana municipal corporation will be held next year for which the schedule will be announced later, Sidhu said.

Elections in Ludhiana have been postponed as delimitation of wards is pending there and electoral rolls are yet be updated.

Polling will be held in 85 wards in Amritsar, 80 in Jalandhar and 60 in Patiala.

There will be a total of 3,200 polling stations in the three corporations and voting will take place through electronic voting machines (EVMs). A total of 4,000 EVMs will be used for the purpose.

50% WARDS RESERVED FOR WOMEN CANDIDATES

For the first time, 50% wards are reserved for woman candidates and the voters will also have the option to choose none of the above (NOTA).

The state election commission has fixed Rs 2.5 lakh cap on campaign expenditure for each candidate in corporation polls, Rs 2.25 lakh in Class-1 councils, Rs 1.40 lakh in Class-2 councils, Rs 1.20 lakh in Class-3 councils and Rs 85,000 in notified area committees.

Meanwhile, director general of police (provisioning and modernisation) VK Bhawra has been designated as nodal officer with the election commission to maintain law and order during the elections.

TEST OF CONGRESS GOVT’S POPULARITY

The civic elections will be a test of the popularity of Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, which is into eighth month of its tenure.

In September this year, the government had removed the mayors of the four municipal corporations and gave their charge to the commissioners, much to the displeasure of opposition SAD-BJP coalition, which had control over these bodies.

Ludhiana and Patiala had mayors of SAD while Jalandhar and Amritsar had BJP mayors.

Congress MLAs from Amritsar and Jalandhar recently complained of improper delimitation and lopsided distribution of population in the wards, but chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh dismissed their grievances and asked them to prepare for the polls.

Meanwhile, officials of the local bodies department said the delimitation was done on the recommendations of MLAs.

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 21:58 IST