The big question of whether the election to the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be held later this month still remains unanswered. The term of Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy and Deputy Mayor L. Srinivas comes to an end on April 26. It is customary that the election is held on the day the term comes to an end. The conduct of this year’s elections is doubtful as the election code of conduct is in force.
“We don’t know if the election to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Standing Committees can be held when the model code of conduct is in force. We have written to the Election Commission of India seeking a clarification,” said Siddaiah, District Election Officer and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner. Even as the response is awaited, sources in the BBMP said there is no rule or regulation that prevents the election when the code of conduct is in force. “If that were the case, the bypoll to the A. Narayanapura ward cannot be held on Sunday. There is no mention of postponement of the elections due to this condition in either the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act 1976, or the Representation of People’s Act,” the sources said.
The sources added that bypoll to the A. Narayanapura ward, scheduled for April 7, is a direct election — people will directly choose their representative, while the election to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor posts is an indirect election where elected representatives choose amongst themselves. “When a direct election can be held when the code of conduct is in force, why can’t an indirect election be held?” the sources asked.
Asked if the mayoral election had been postponed earlier, the sources said that in 1991, polls were postponed because the code of conduct for the parliamentary polls. “The Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections were held after the polls,” the sources said.