It is Time for Grama Panchayat Polls in Karnataka on May 8 & 12
From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, April 12: Flush with the ruling BJPís resounding victory in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls held on March 28, the B S Yeddyurappa regime is all set to face another electoral test in Karantaka with the State Election Commission (SEC) announcing the calendar of events for holding elections to as many as 5,476 grama panchayats all over the state in two phases on May 8 and 12.
However, elections to the grama panchayats in the coastal Udupi district will be held in both the phases on account of the prevailing law and order problem due to the Naxal menace and the need to provide foolproof security to the polling personnel and voters.
The model code of conduct for the grama panchayat polls will come into effect from April 15, Thursday and remain in force till May 18, State Election Commissioner C R Chickmath told reporters at a news conference in Bangalore on Monday. He said counting for the two-phase elections will be held on May 17 from 8 am onwards at the respective taluk headquarters.
Elections would be held in two phases to 5,476 GPs out of the total 5626 panchayats in the State to elect 88,245 members. However, elections would not be held to 150 GPs whose term expires after July 2010.
The model code of conduct, according to Chikmath, would be applicable only to areas coming under the jurisdictions of grama, taluk and zilla panchayats. It would not be applicable to town panchayats, town municipal councils, city municipal councils and city corporations, he said.
In the first phase, 2,643 GPs would go to polls in 16 districts of Bangalore Urban and Rural, Ramanagar, Chitradurga, Davangere, Kolar, Chikballapur, Shimoga, Tumkur, Bidar, Bellary, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal and two taluks of Ududpi district.
The second phase polling would held on May 12 to 2,833 GPs of Mysore, Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Kodagu, Mandya, Chamarajangar, Belgaum, Bijapur, Haveri, Bagalkote, Uttara Kannada, Dharwad, Gadag and Kundapur taluk of Udupi district.
As per the Constitutional reservation of 33 per cent seats for women in local bodies, a total of 37,980 seats are reserved for women. A total of 16,472 seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (7,617 for women), 9,616 for Scheduled Tribe (6,232 for women), 23,478 for backward class category A (10,361 for women), 5,820 for backward class category B (1051 for women), and 32,859 seats for general category (12,719 for women).
For elections in the first phase, the official notification would be issued on April 19. While the last day for filing nominations is April 26, the last day for withdrawal is April 29. The scrutiny would be held on April 27. Polling would be held, if necessary, on May 8 between 7 am and 5 pm. Repolling, if necessary, on May 12.
For polling in the second phase, the official notification would be issued on April 21. The last day for filing nominations is April 28 while scrutiny would take place on April 29. The last day for withdrawal ofnominations is May 3. Polling would be held, if necessary, on May 12. The day on which repolling would be held, if necessary, is May 15.
Both chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and state BJP president K S Eshwarappa have already predicted that the ruling party will secure a clear majority in the grama panchayat polls too to prove that BJP is powerful in rural areas too. Incidentally, elections to the grama panchayats unlike the other two tiers of the panchayat bodies are held on non-party basis, even though it is common knowledge that the candidates owe to their allegiance to one party or other and even political parties field their own candidates.
Yeddyurappa has already started almost every district on a daily basis soon after the BBMP elections sometimes covering three to four districts ostensibly to enlighten the people about various programmes of the government and to get a first-hand feedback of their problems.