Shimla (Dec 3): State Election Commission on Saturday announced the date for elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in Himachal. Elections to forty-eight ULBs in the state will be held on January 3, 2011.
Making this announcement, State Election Commissioner Dev Swaroop said that the whole process of conducting the elections will come to an end on January 6, 2011 and model code of conduct will remain effective till that date. Declaring the election schedule, Swaroop told that the nominations would be filed on December 13, 14 and 15, 2010 from 11 am to 3 pm and scrutiny of nominations would take place on December 16. People filing the nominations would be allowed to withdraw the same up to December 18 before 3 pm and final list of candidates will be displayed the same day.
As many as 304, 645 voters would caste their votes for 48 presidents and similar number of vice-presidents, and total 406 ward members in 25 municipal corporations (MC) and 23 nagar panchayats (NP). As per the voter rolls, 1.60 lakh male and 1.40 lakh female voters will use their franchise to elect their representatives, the number of total voters however can marginally increase or decrease in booths depending on the objections to voter’s lists.
Swaroop said that fifty per cent of seats would be reserved for women in ULBs except for the post of pice-president, which would be open and there will be reservation with in reservation for women. The counting of votes will be done on the same day and results will also be declared on that day.
For the first time Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) will be used in these elections and Commission is eying to use over 2,100 EVMs in elections in 457 polling stations to be set up for smooth holding of elections. It for the first time that political parties have been allowed to field their official candidates in ULB elections. However, the provision is optional not mandatory and person seeking party symbol will have to produce authority letter from political party to contest elections as its official candidate at the time of filling the nominations. There will be direct elections for posts of president and vice-president this time. More than 4,000 employees will be deployed for conducting the elections. Poll duty ballots will be issued to employees on election duties so that they could exercise their right to vote.