Friday, August 22, 2008

BBMP elections may not be before March

BBMP elections may not be before March
By Basavaraj Itnaal, DH News Service, Bangalore:
Close on the heels of the State Election Commission (SEC) submitting before the Karnataka High Court, on Wednesday, that it cannot meet the deadline to hold elections to Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP), the government is likely to seek longer time for the task.

Government sources said that the State will have to seek 150 days to finish the task of finalising the schedule of delimited wards along with reservation list. SEC would then swing into action and would require two more months to do the needful. This effectively puts BBMP polls on the April 2009 calendar.

On Monday, the government published a draft of the schedule of delimited wards in Greater Bangalore. The government announced 147 wards as against 145 decided earlier. Sources said that this was done to accommodate development demand of the wards bordering Bangalore Urban district. With a notice period of 30 days, the wards can only be finalised after considering the objections and suggestions. This exercise may take another month. Only then the government would begin the exercise of fixing reservation as per roaster points.

Reserving wards for SC/ST communities is very easy since the census records have the data on population density and distribution of the communities. However, the government is likely to find it tough to fix reservation for categories Ia, Ib, IIa etc.

The census does not record demographic details of these communities and the government would have to consult political parties on the issue apart from considering opinions of experts in the area.

Government would require 30-45 days for the task, said sources. It was said that the SEC wanted to carry out the task of fixing reservation, but the Commission would face the same challenge as the State. Besides, the State does not want to shirk its responsibility, said sources.

BIAL and Palike
The draft of delimited wards has no mention of Bangalore International Airport (BIA) while BBMP has adopted a resolution to take BIA in its folds. Government sources said that once the government takes a final decision on the matter, BIA is likely to be made another ward. Again, the notification would consume a minimum of a month.

Petitioner in the case, P R Ramesh told Deccan Herald that he would agree to any time frame that the government finds convenient if the Administrator is removed. The HC has held the appointment of administrator to BBMP as illegal but Dilip Rau continues in the post. Who should head the civic body then? ``I don't know. But that is what the court has ordered,'' Ramesh said.


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