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UP Urban Local Bodies Polls Likely To Be Put Off Till Oct

 Agencies |  2017-05-27 06:33:06.0  0  Comments

UP Urban Local Bodies Polls Likely To Be Put Off Till Oct

Lucknow: The proposed Uttar Pradesh Urban Local Bodies polls, scheduled to be held before July 15, are likely to be postponed till October-November. The Local Bodies department of the UP Government has started to appoint administrators in the local bodies after their five-year term expires between July and August. Official sources here today said that all the District Magistrates have been asked to inform the Government on the date when the first meetings of the local bodies were held in 2012. The term of the local bodies start from the day of the first meeting. In 2012, the local bodies authorities on July 6 after the elections had directed all the local bodies to hold their first meeting within a month time. "If the elections are not held by July -August, then the Government will have no other option but to appoint administrators till the new local bodies are constituted," officials here said. Meanwhile, the Government has ordered for a rapid caste survey to make the reservation of the local bodies seats. Earlier, the reservation system was introduced, but the Chief Minister was not satisfied with the process. The State Government ordered a fresh rapid survey of the OBC population in the State to be completed in 45 days. However, the UP State Election Commission (SEC) continued to hold meetings of the district officials to prepare for the elections in June-July, but on the other hand, the BJP and UP Government officials do not seem to be so enthused about it. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath hinted several times that the urban local bodies polls could be postponed but there was no such official word yet. State Election Commissioner SK Agarwal, who has been visiting several areas to spruce up the preparation, was still not aware if the elections would be postponed. "I have no knowledge whether the elections would be postponed. It is up to the State Government to decide but they have not informed me yet about their decision hence we are going ahead with the preparation," he said here today. Mr Agarwal had already hinted that the law and order situation in the State was not so good, but on the other hand, had also announced that the notification for the elections would be announced sometime in the first week of June. In view of the concerns on the voters list, SEC has extended the dates for revision of the voters' list and remove the discrepancies in it till June 5. Meanwhile, sources here today said that the Government was likely to issue an order for the postponement citing discrepancies in voters' list revision and complaints about rapid OBC survey. However, what has forced the Government to rethink, say sources, is the alleged irregularities in the voters' list and the flooding of complaints in the rapid survey for the reservation of the constituencies in the local bodies and the holy month of Ramzan in June. Besides, the BJP too was not in favour of holding the elections out of fear that its core urban voters may not come out to vote due to heat wave. Besides, the party also wanted that elections to the newly formed municipal corporations — Ayodhya-Faizabad and Mathura-Vrindavan should be held along with all others. It was not possible in the June-July schedule. Since neither the voters' list revision nor the caste survey of the constituencies in the two recently-formed municipal corporations, has taken place, the elections to the two Municipal Corporations were not possible with the rest of the State in July and had to be held later. This was not favoured by the State Government and the ruling party, both, as going to the polls in the two religious places, which hold their huge political significance at the State and the national level, after the main polls, would have drawn national attention and any reverse to the BJP would have dented its image. This is not first time when civic elections are being delayed in the State. In previous regimes under Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, these elections were delayed by six months to one year. In fact, Ms Mayawati was not in favour of even holding the elections after coming to power in 2007 and the Opposition had to knock the doors of the Supreme Court which ordered for the elections. The average voter turnout in 2012 Urban Bodies Polls was around 35 per cent and in some places like Allahabad and Lucknow, it dipped alarmingly to less than 25 per cent cent. With the mercury touching as high as 45 degrees Celsius, a repeat of the low turnout may hit the prospects of the BJP. The BJP leadership feels that the party's cadre is also tired and exhausted after the State elections and their lack of interest in the urban polls might dent its prospects. "So, a common refrain was to delay it as long as possible to give adequate time to workers to get re-energised and charge up for another round of high staked polls of the urban local bodies," a leader said.
UNI

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