Urban Local Bodies (ULB) Elections – May 29

Urban Local Bodies (ULB) Elections – May 29

Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections will be held on May 29.  The total number of Urban Local Bodies in Karnataka are 277. The election will be having 1646 polling stations with 8230 personnel involved. 

The Karnataka State election commission announced elections for different local bodies, including city corporations and councils, panchayats and other urban local bodies.

This election is likely to test the resolve of the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition and particularly its grass-root level workers who have been unable to overcome differences.

The Number of Urban Local Bodies going to polls are 63.  This includes 8 city municipal councils, 33 town municipal councils and 22 town panchayats.  The total number of wards are 1361.

Events Calendar – Urban Local Bodies :

Date of issue of notification – May 9 for 63 ULB’s

May 13 for by-polls to taluk and gram panchayats.

Last date to file nominations – May 16

Scrutiny of file nomination papers – May 17

Last date for withdrawal of nominations – May 20

Poling date – May 29 (7 am to 5 pm)

Total number of voters – 14.74 lakh

Total number of wards that will go to the polls : 1361 (248 in 8 City municipal councils, 783 in 33 Town Municipal Councils and 330 in 22 Town Panchayats)

Bypolls – Urban Local Bodies :

Bypolls to ULBs will also be held for vacant seats in ten taluk panchayats, 202 gram panchayats, two seats in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and one seat in Tumkuru corporation. Voting for bypolls will happen on May 29.

Urban Local Bodies election :

ULB polls are being held in 22 districts and model code of conduct will come into effect immediately, until May 31, in specific wards and ULB limits. ULB seats in Bengaluru rural (Anekal) and Urban (Devanahalli and Nelamangala) are going to polls.

Select CMC, TMC and TPs in Chitradurga, Davangere, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Shivamogga, Tumakuru, Mysuru, Chikmagalur, Dakshin Kannada, Hassan, Mandya, Chamarajnagara, Vijayapura, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Uttara Kannada, Bidar, Ballari and Yadgir will go to polls.

Urban Local Bodies (ULB) :

Urban Local Bodieshas existed since the year 1687, with the formation of Madras Municipal Corporation, and then Calcutta and Bombay Municipal Corporation in 1726. In the early part of the nineteenth century almost all towns in India had experienced some form of municipal governance.

In 1882 the then Viceroy of India, Lord Ripon, who is known as the Father of Local Self Government, passed a resolution of local self-government which laid the democratic forms of municipal governance in India.

History of ULB’s :

According to the 1991 Census of India,  there were 3255 urban local bodies (ULBs) in the country; classified into the four major categories:

  1.  Municipal Corporation (Nagar Nigam)
  2. Municipality (municipal council, municipal board, municipal committee) (Nagar Parishad)
  3. Town area committee
  4. Notified area committee

The municipal corporations and municipalities are fully representative bodies, while the notified area committees and town area committees are either fully or partially nominated bodies.

Responsibilities of Urban Local Bodies :

The municipal bodies are vested with a long list of functions delegated to them by the state governments under the municipal legislation. These functions broadly relate to public health, , welfare, regulatory functions, public safety, public infrastructure works and development activities.

Public health includes water supply, sewerage and sanitation, eradication of communicable diseases etc.  Welfare includes public facilities such as education, recreation etc. Regulatory functions related to prescribing and enforcing building regulations,   encroachments on public land, birth registration and death certificate etc. Public safety includes fire protection, street lighting etc

Public works measures such as construction and maintenance of inner city roads, etc.  and development functions related to town planning and development of commercial markets.

In addition to the legally assigned functions, the sectoral departments of the state government often assign unilaterally, and on an agency basis, various functions such as  family planning,  nutrition and slum improvement, disease and epidemic control, etc.

Municipal Corporation :

Mahanagar Palika (Munucipal Corporation ) in India are State Government formed departments that works for the development of a metropolitan city,  which has a population of more than 1 million.

The growing population and urbanization in various cities of India were in need of a local governing body that can work for providing necessary community services like health centres, educational institutes and housing and property tax.

They are formed under the Corporations Act of 1835 of panchayati rai system which mainly deals in providing essential services in every small town as well as village of a district/city. Their elections are held once in five year and the people choose the candidates.

The largest corporations are in the eight metropolitan cities of India, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune. These cities not only have a large population, but are also the administrative as well as commercial centres of the country.

Municipality ( Nagar Palika) :

The members of the Nagar palika are elected representatives for a term of five years. The town is divided into wards according to its population, and representatives are elected from each ward. The members elect a president among themselves to preside over and conduct meetings.

A chief officer, along with officers like an engineer, sanitary inspector, health officer and education officer who come from the state public service are appointed by the state government to control the administrative affairs of the Nagar Palika.

Existing Urban Local bodies in Karnataka :

There are total 103 urban local bodies whose term comes to an end between March and July.  39 urban local bodies are pending before the High court.   The highest wards are in Bidar (128), followed by Tumakuru (114) and Mysuru (95) districts.

Election Commission :

According to the Election Commission, electronic voting machines (EVM) will be used for polling with out VVPAT. (Voter verifiable paper Audit Trail).  Throughout India,  VVPATs are not being used in any Urban local bodies polls. 

Sale and manufacture of liquor is banned from May 13 to May 31 in the 10 taluk panchayat and 202 gram panchayat seats.  Where EVM’s are not used, ballot papers will be used for the rural bypolls. 

Alliance – Urban local bodies :

The Coalition parties, who have fought fierce battles in south Karnataka over the decades, decided to form an alliance to circumvent the fractured verdict in the May assembly elections last year.

So intense is the fight between their workers that the JD(S) and Congress decided to go in for a ‘friendly fight’ in the August 2018 ULB election, despite the two coming together earlier in the year to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power in Karnataka.

The Congress has already announced that it will not have any alliance with the JD(S) for this election. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, Dinesh Gundu Rao said that local leaders are free to enter into understanding depending upon local needs.

Congress had earlier confirmed to its workers that its electoral understanding with the JD(S) was limited to assembly and Lok Sabha polls and it has of late found that the workers of both the Congress and JD(S) at local levels have been finding it very difficult to get along with each other as they have been harboring bitter political rivalry since long.

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