The State Election Commission issued a notification on Monday for holding elections for 146 municipalities and 10 municipal corporations on March 30, thus bringing the model code of conduct into force with immediate effect through out the State including Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation where elections are due only in November.
Elections for about 20 municipalities will be held later. This is because some municipalities were involved in legal disputes, and in other cases, merger of surrounding villages was yet to be completed.
The municipal elections — to be held on the basis of political parties — had been postponed in the State for the last three-and-a-half years on various grounds after the term of the elected bodies expired in September 2010.
Disclosing the details of the election schedule, State Election Commissioner P. Ramakanth Reddy told media persons that nominations would be accepted for municipal corporations from March 10 to 13 and in municipalities from March 10 to 14. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 18. Election will be held on March 30 (Sunday) from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., re-polls if required on April 1 and counting would be taken up on April 2.
Soon after the State Government sent the final list of reservations in all the 156 municipalities and corporations on Sunday, the State Election Commission swung into action and prepared the election schedule on a war-footing.
SEC said issue of notification for general elections by the Election Commission would not have any impact on the municipal election process as it was also an autonomous and constitutional body. The municipal election results would be announced before the first phase of general elections.
Mr. Reddy said about one crore voters would directly elect ward/division representatives in 4,503 wards in the urban local bodies and the indirect election for the Mayor, deputy Mayor, chairperson and vice-chairpersons would be held on April 7.
He also said teachers involved in the 10 and Intermediate examinations would be exempted from the election work. About 11,000 Electronic Voting Machines would be used in 9,015 polling stations to be manned by 49,583 polling personnel including teachers, lecturers, revenue and municipal administration staff.
The Election Commissioner will soon hold meetings with Director General of Police, Vigilance, Finance, MA&UD, Home Department, and Education Department officials for smooth conduct of elections. A meeting with District Collectors, SPs and municipal commissioners will also be held on March 6.
On including the “None of the Above” feature in EVMs, Mr. Reddy said they had sent a proposal to the Government for approval.