Staff Correspondent

71 urban local body wards will go to polls on September 28

Reservation for all the wards has been announced

Last time, elections were delayed following objections raised by a citizen

Madikeri: As many as 71 urban local body wards in Madikeri City Municipal Council (CMC) limits and three town panchayats of Somwarpet, Kushalnagar and Virajpet will go to polls on September 28, according to information received here on Wednesday.

Elections to the Madikeri CMC was held up last time due to certain technical difficulties. A citizen had raised objections to increasing the number of wards from 23 to 31. Following this, the State Election Commission sought a clarification from the Urban Development Department. The Government, later, justified its action in increasing the number of wards and following this, elections to the Madikeri CMC were announced. Kodagu Deputy Commissioner K.R. Niranjan said that the CMC would to polls along with other urban local bodies in the district. The election code of conduct has already come into force.

According to information gathered by The Hindu, the person who had raised objections last time is likely to move the court again seeking a stay on conducting CMC elections. The number of wards that will go to polls is 31 in Madikeri, followed by 16 in Virajpet Town Panchayat limits and 13 in the Kushalnagar Town Panchayat and 11 in Somwarpet Town Panchayat. The population in Madikeri city is 32,496, according to the 2001 census. To be able to qualify as a CMC, the population of a city should be 50,000. However, by virtue of being a headquarter city of Kodagu, Madikeri was upgraded as a CMC two years.

Kushalnagar, with a population of 13,186, has 13 wards. There were only 14 seats in the Virajpet Town Panchayat, which has gone up to 16 as the population there has risen from 13,137 in 1991 to 15,213 in 2001.

Number of wards

The number of wards will remain the same at 11 in Somwarpet Town Panchayat as its population has not crossed 10,000. From a population of 7,094 in 1991, it has now reached only 7,220.

There are 22,638 voters in the 31 wards in Madikeri. Of these, 11,482 are men and 11,156 women. In the Kushalnagar Town Panchayat limits, there are 10,416 voters of which 5,397 are men.

In Somwarpet Town Panchayat limits, there are 5,638 voters that include 2,781 men and 2,857 women. In the Virajpet Town Panchayat limits, there are 12,014 voters that include 6,294 men and 5,720 women. Reservation for all the 71 wards too has been announced by the election authorities. However, it is believed here that if the aggrieved persons succeeded in obtaining court stay, fate of the Madikeri CMC could hang in the balance.

Political parties are trying to field the best candidates. Many have finalised the names of the candidates. The last date for filing nominations is September 17.

The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is September 20.