Shimla May, 8: Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is likely to meet key Congressmen, including some councillors, who don’t want the MC elections to be postponed and clash with the Assembly poll in November. The meeting is scheduled for Monday. While Congress remains a divided house over the election schedule, the CPM and the BJP have raised questions on the final voter list and the reservation roster released by the district electoral registration officer for the MC elections.
“We are meeting the Chief Minister tomorrow and will apprise him of the situation as the government has carried out a lot of works in the city in the last four years,” said Harish Janartha, vice-chairman, HPTDC, and a former Deputy Mayor. “We will chalk out a strategy for the MC poll on the direction of the Chief Minister and approach voters highlighting our works. We will thrash out all issues related to MC elections,” he asserted.Shimla Mayor Sanjay Chauhan said they had raised several issues with the Election Commission regarding the voter list and the reservation roster.
“Earlier, there were 66,000 voters, now the final list says there are about 88,000 voters. Upper Dhalli ward has 800 voters whereas Krishna Nagar has 3,600 voters, which proves that the delimitation exercise is faulty,” he added. BJP Shimla MLA Suresh Bhardwaj said both CPM and a divided Congress were trying to postpone the MC elections. “We are not challenging the Census 2011 figure, but the state election department has not done a proper exercise to prepare the voter list properly.
The elections should be held as per schedule and the BJP state leadership has to take a call whether to release the list of party candidates or not,” he added. Even the reservation roster based on the Census of 2011 has turned out to be controversial as it has wiped out six Congress concillors. “We have met the Chief Minister and told him that the reservation roster for the wards should be done through a draw of lots, but the Urban Development Department paid no heed and issued the roster on the basis of population, which is faulty as the exact population of nine new wards is not known,” they revealed.As many as four contiguous wards — Kagnadhar, Pateog, Vikasnagar (created by delimiting Pateog and Chhota Shimla) and Chhota Shimla — have been reserved for women.
“Similarly, newly created Sangti, Engine Ghar and Malyana are contiguous and these wards have no exact figure of voters as these were delimited in 2016-17 and the Census cannot be made a basis to establish as to which ward has a greater number of women voters,” said Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar, who had shot off a letter to the State Election Commission.
News Source Tribune India