‘Ready for urban local body polls’: Odisha government

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: In an indication that the urban local body (ULB) elections will be held after the panchayat polls next year, the State government on Thursday announced that it will submit the final report on reservation of seats for the urban areas to the State Election Commission (SEC) by January-end.

Urban Development Minister Pratap Jena said the process of reservation of seats has already been started at the district-level. A month’s time will be given for hearing of objections to the reservation list finalised at the district-level. After receiving district reports, the final report will be submitted to the SEC by the Urban Development department.

Referring to statements from the Opposition parties about reservation of seats for different urban bodies, the Minister said that process is on and yet to finalised. The government is fully prepared for the ULB elections, he stated.

The notifications for preparation of electoral rolls, which takes at least one-and-half months, and urban elections will be issued by the SEC only after the government completes the delimitation process and reservation of seats. The ULB polls have been delayed in the State for nearly two years. 

Official sources said that the government will abide by the Orissa High Court direction not to exceed 50 per cent reservation of seats for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes in the non-scheduled areas.

Out of the ULBs in the State, 114 do not have elected representatives. Only Hindol and Attabira NACs have elected representatives as elections to these two bodies were held in 2018 and their tenure will be over in 2023. The panchayat elections are due in March, 2022 and the government wants to conduct the ULB polls soon after that, sources said.

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