Friday, January 08, 2010

A week left for franchise rights

A week left for franchise rights

Voter registration for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike polls will close on January 15

Sunitha Rao R and Senthalir S. Bangalore



The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections will finally take place on the scheduled date of February 21. However, this gives Bangaloreans just a week's time to register themselves in the voters' list.
"The last date for Bangaloreans to register their names in the voters' list before the BBMP elections is January 15. People can submit their applications to the assistant electoral returning officers (AEROs) of their respective wards for the purpose," said Nanjundeshwara, assistant to the deputy commissioner, Bangalore Urban.
Nanjundeshwara added: "The civic polls are scheduled to take place on February 21, and the counting of votes is scheduled to begin on February 23. The results will be declared the same day as we will be using electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the polls, thus easing the entire process," he said.
He informed that though the state election commission is all set to conduct the Palike polls, modalities such as the number of personnel required in the conduct of the polls and number of policemen required to maintain law and order during the period are yet to be worked out.
Secretary of the state election commission, Ravindranath, further confirmed that the election would take place as per the calendar of events that was planned last year by the commission.
Despite the controversy over loopholes in the reservation list, civic analysts have welcomed the elections. "I welcome the move of the Supreme court which has helped finalise the election date. But it is sad that the state government neglected the polls for so long, and are now conducting it after the apex court's intervention," said ex-mayor PR Ramesh, adding, "There are anomalies in the reservation list prepared, but I prefer not to comment on that."
Speaking to DNA, Venkatesh M, Bangalore district convener, Dalit Bahujan Movement, said that though the elections are finally going to take place, the loopholes in the reservation list should have been plugged. "For example, in Hampinagar, majority of the people in that ward are from the SC/ST background, but a general candidate will be contesting for the polls there. This is unscientific as per the reservation list," he said.
However, Jasmine Shah, co-ordinator of Jaagte Raho,a voter awareness campaign of Janaagraha, said, "Whatever said, the best part is that the election is happening finally. There was no election held for the BBMP for the last three years, as against the constitutional mandate of six months," she said.

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