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156 urban local bodies go to polls on March 30

Special Correspondent
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The State Election Commission on Monday issued notification to hold simultaneous polls to 146 municipalities and 10 municipal corporations on March 30.

The model code of conduct came into force immediately across the State, including the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation where elections are due only in November. Elections to about 20 municipalities will be held later in view of legal disputes and others concerning the merger of surrounding villages were not yet completed.

The elections, to be held on party basis, had been postponed for the last three-and-a-half years for various reasons after the term of the elected bodies expired in September 2010. Announcing the 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-poll, if required on April 1 and counting would be taken up on April 2. After the State Government sent the final list of reservations in all the 156 municipalities and corporations on Saturday night, the Election Commission identified several errors and sent it back.

The revised list was made available on Sunday after which the State Election Commission swung into action and prepared the election schedule on a war-footing.

He said the notification for general elections would not have any impact on the municipal polls as the SEC was an autonomous and constitutional body.

The municipal election results would be announced on April 2 before the first phase of general elections.

Mr. Ramakanth Reddy said that 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.

Replying to a question, Mr. Ramakanth Reddy said teachers involved in the SSC and Intermediate examinations would be exempted from election work. About 11,000 electronic voting machines would be used in 9,015 polling stations to be manned by 49,583 personnel, including teachers, lecturers, revenue and municipal administration staff.

The Election Commissioner would soon hold meetings with the Director-General of Police, vigilance, finance, MA&UD, Home Department, Education Department officials for smooth conduct of the elections and a meeting with District Collectors, SPs and municipal commissioners would be held on March 6.

On including the feature of None of the Above (NOTA) in the EVMs, Mr. Reddy said they sent a proposal to the government for its approval.

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