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Government seeks six months for holding elections to BBMP Council

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Staff Reporter

An affidavit on proposed calendar of events placed before the High Court

BANGALORE: The State Government on Monday placed before the Karnataka High Court an affidavit enumerating the "time lines needed for constitution of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)" and said it would need at least 187 days for the elections to be held for the newly constituted body.

It said it could intimate to the State Election Commission (SEC) about the holding of elections to the newly constituted body only on April 28, 2007. This was to complete several formalities before it could intimate the SEC about the need to hold elections.

The Government had filed the affidavit after a former councillor from Bangalore, M. Nagaraj, had moved the court seeking elections to the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) and declare as illegal and ultra vires the November 23, 2006 notification seeking to merge seven local bodies around Bangalore with the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and constitute the BBMP.

When the matter came up on Monday, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph, and Justice B.S. Patil sought to know from the Government why it could not conduct elections to the existing wards. It said it wanted to see whether the elections could be held without waiting for the procedures to be completed. The Government advocate submitted that elections could be held only after the process of delimitation was completed and that it would require 187 days to complete all formalities. He said the Government had announced that elections to 32 civic bodies, excluding Bangalore, would be held by January 2007.

When the Bench asked the State Election Commission (SEC) how much time it would require to conduct the elections, the SEC said it would need three months after the Government intimated it. The ballot papers would have to be revised and other procedures followed.

Calendar for polls

The Government advocate placed the affidavit on the proposed calendar of events for the BBMP elections before the Bench. He said the draft of constituting the BBMP was issued on November 2, the last date for filing objections was December 2 and December 10 was the date for an official committee to submit a report on the issue.

It said the Cabinet was expected to process and approve the final notification for the constitution of the BBMP on December 26. It said a submission note would be handed over to the Governor on January 5 after the Cabinet approval and the final notification was expected to be announced on January 20.

The notification was expected to be gazetted on January 22 and technical report by the Deputy Commissioner on the delimitation of new wards on February 20. On March 1, Deputy Commissioners were expected to scrutinise the delimitation proposals.

On March 5, the Government said it expected to issue a notification on delimitation of wards of BBMP and the last date for receipt of objections and suggestions would be April 4, 2007. The objections would be considered on April 14 and the final notification issued on April 18. The SEC would be intimated on April 28.

The Bench adjourned the case to January 3.

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