Tribune News Service
Shimla, December 17
Even as the threat of COVID-19 looms large, the State Election Commission on Thursday notified elections for 50 Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats in the state, polling for which will take place on January 10, next year.
The elections for 50 of the 61 municipal bodies in the state except the five Municipal Corporations of Shimla, Dharamasala, Mandi, Palampur and Solan and the six newly constituted Municipal Councils of Amb, Chirgaon, Kandaghat, Nerwa, Nirmand and Anni will be held on January 10.
Now it remains to be seen how the government will ensure campaigning in adherence to social distancing norms and SOP’s for political functions, with the limit of not more than 50 persons.
The fear of spread of Covid during campaigning looms large as the elections, though not held on party symbols, are fought along party lines, both by the ruling BJP and opposition Congress.
With stakes high for both the political players to gain control over these urban local bodies, all senior leaders of both the parties will be taking part in the campaigning in a big way.
State Election Commissioner P Mitra today issued the notification for the holding of elections to the six new Municipal Councils under Section 281 the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Act, 1994 and Rule 35 of the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Election Rules, 2015.
It is being expected that the elections for the Panchayati raj bodies which are due could also be announced within this week.
The dates for the urban local body polls (ULB) have been announced by the State Election Commission after the state government expressed its readiness for the same.
However, now it remains to be seen as to how the state government will ensure that campaigning for the ULB elections, both by the party leaders including ministers and MLAs and the candidates themselves amidst SOP’s for social distancing is undertaken.
The State Election Commission on Thursday issued the election schedule for the Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats which will go to polls on January 10.
The model code of conduct has come into force in all these 50 urban local bodies from today itself with the announcement of the polls.
The election process will be completed on January 12, 2020. As per the election schedule the nomination for the polls will be filed on December 24, 26 and 28, scrutiny on December 29 and withdrawal on December 31.
The list of contesting candidates showing the allotted symbol to the candidates will be affixed on December 31. The list of polling stations will be pasted on or before December 24.
The polling will take place on January 10 from 8 am to 4 pm. The counting of votes will be taken up immediately after the polling on January 10 itself. The polling process will be complete on January 12.
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