UP urban body elections likely in November

| | Lucknow

Preparing for the Urban Local Bodies poll in November, the State Election Commission (SEC) is all set to announce poll dates in the last week of October. With fresh revision of electoral rolls having started from September 11, the SEC has now decided to hold the elections in four phases in November and conclude by the month-end. State Election Commissioner SK Agarwal said that a notification for the elections is likely to be announced on October 25.

“We are prepared for the elections and revision of electoral rolls are underway in a smooth manner. The elections in November would help in ensuring better turnout of voters. This was one of the important reasons for delaying the poll which were earlier scheduled in June-July,” said Agarwal in Lucknow on Wednesday.

The SEC said that around 3.5 crore urban voters would be eligible to exercise their franchise in more than 12,000 wards to elect their representatives. He said that for the first time, names of candidates would be made available online.

"Besides, for the first time over 3500 polling booths of the total of 36,500 would go for webcasting for ensuring transparency in the electoral process," he said.

The SEC said that the roll revision would go a long way in weeding out non-existent and bogus voters and State El;ection Commission's electoral roll would be better then the Election Commission of India.  This year the SEC is conducting roll revision for a second time.  The earlier revision was held in May-June.

"Booth level Officers (BLOs) would visit house-to-house from September 11 to October 3 for verification of voters and enrolment of new voters. The voters can also enroll online by September 25. The BLOs would later check their credentials at their residences between September 26 and October 3,” Agarwal said in his order of electoral roll revision.

Preparations for publication of draft voters list would be done between October 4 and 8 and the draft publication would be made on October 9. Thereafter, claims and objections would be invited between October 9 and 15 while changes would be made in voter list on October 16 and 17.  The SEC said that the final publication of electoral rolls would be made on October 18.        

Urban Local Bodies elections in the state has been delayed for around four months as Chief Minister Yogi  Adityanath wanted the roll revision and use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in elections. Recently, the UP government had filed an affidavit in the Allahabad High Court that the polls would be held in November.

All elected Urban Local Bodies have completed their term of five years and administrators have been appointed. The BJP had swept the previous elections in 2012, winning 11 of the 13 Mayoral seats across the state. This time the number of Mayors has increased to 16 with upgradation of Mathura and Ayodhya as municipal corporations.  The imminent election would be the first real test for the BJP after it won 325 seats in the Assembly poll held in March.

Polls would be held for 653 Urban Local Bodies including 439 Municipal Boards, 198 Town Areas and 16 Municipal Corporations. In all, 1,024 corporators in Municipal Corporations, 5,097 in Municipal Boards and 5,158 in Municipal Panchayats would be elected. 



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