Elections to 7 city corporations and 201 City Municipals Councils, Town Municipal Councils and Town Panchayats across the State will be held on March 7, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday announced.

Seven city corporations that will go in for elections on March 7 are Davangere, Bellary, Gulbarga, Mysore, Mangalore, Belgaum and Hubli-Dharwad city corporations.

Elections will be held to 43 City Municipal Councils, 65 Town Municipal Council and 93 Town Panchayats, according to the note given by State Election Commission.

Announcing the calendar of events here, the State Election Commissioner C.R.Chikkamath said that the results would be announced on March 11. “The code of conduct for the elections will come into effect from Friday morning and the elections would be held based on the 2007 ward-wise reservation,” he told presspersons.

The announcement comes a day after the Supreme Court directed the state functionaries to cooperate with the SEC to conduct the elections, and also in the light of attempts by the State Government to curtail the powers of SEC to take independent decisions in fixing dates for elections to urban local bodies. The Government had moved the Karnataka Municipalities and Certain Other Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 in this regard that was passed unanimously in the house, but later rejected by the Governor.

The SEC's Thursday's order on elections is as per the powers vested in rule (8) of Karnataka Municipalities (Election of Councillors) Rules, 1977. “I am bound by the Supreme Court directions. Division –wise meetings have been held already and preparations have been completed,” Mr. Chikkamath added.

The election in which about 85.32 lakh voters are set to participate is estimated to cost Rs. 30 crore to the exchequer and about 40,000 EVMs of the State Government that are technically inspected and certified by BEL officials will be deployed. In all, elections will be held for 4,976 wards in 201 ULBs and 7 city corporations for which 10,482 polling booths would be set up. The elections would be overseen by 46,120 personnel, including 11,500 presiding officers.

When asked if teachers would be drafted for election duty as it would be examination season, Mr. Chikkamath said that the decision had been left to the deputy commissioners. “The elections are being held only in urban areas and would be over on March 7, much before the PUC examinations that is scheduled to start from March 13,” he said and added that the deputy commissioners are ready with the personnel.

Meanwhile, a release from the SEC said that the 2007 ward wise reservations have been adopted since the State Government failed to provide reservation list to the commission before February 4 as per the Apex Court order, and also in the light of the Apex Court’s direction on Wednesday on conduct of elections to the ULBs.

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