Ward reservations to be finalized by November 30
Bengaluru, Sept. 30: After dilly dallying for little over two years, the high court single bench headed by Justice Hemant Chandangoudar on Friday directed the state government and state election commission to hold the BBMP polls by December 31.
Hearing the petition filed by the state government on reservations, the high court quashed the existing reservation and directed to announce ward reservations based on the reservations guidelines by November 30.
The state government through an affidavit sought 16-weeks time to announce fresh reservations. The high court raised serious objections and warned that it would be constrained to direct the government to hold the elections immediately if time consuming tactics were followed. Directing to announce the state government’s stand on reservation the high court passed over the matter by an hour.
After the court proceedings resumed, the court directed the state government to hold the elections by December 31 and also directed the state election commission to announce a calendar of events in a time bound manner.
The term of the previous BBMP came to an end on September 10, 2020. The state government enacted a new law to BBMP and increased the number of wards from 198 to 243. Keeping this as an excuse the state government sought time to complete the process of increasing the wards to 243 and postponed the polls to the urban local body.
Irked by the state government’s delay tactic in holding the elections to the BBMP, former corporators from Congress M. Shivaraj and Wajeed filed a petition before the high court seeking to direct the state government and state election commission to hold the elections soon.
After hearing the petition the high court directed the state government and state election commission to hold elections within three months. Subsequently, the state government approached the supreme court and succeeded in getting a stay on holding elections.
After a prolonged hearing the supreme court directed the state government to initiate and complete ward reservation and delimitation process. Further, the supreme court directed that the objections, if any, to be clarified at the high court.
On Friday, the high court directed the state government and state election commission to hold elections by December 31.
Meanwhile, reacting the high court verdict, BBMP chief commissioner Tushar Giri Nath said that the BBMP is prepared to make necessary arrangements to hold the elections. Already, electoral rolls have been finalized and announce. However, there is provision to include the names in electoral roll, he said.
Based on the court directive, the state election commission will announce calendar of events and the BBMP will comply with the calendar, he assured.