With the Vadodara Municipal Corporation elections coming up this year, the VMC has prepared and submitted its draft of delimitation of civic wards to the district collector. In line with the one month stipulation after the notification from the state Urban Development Department delimiting the 25-ward Vadodara city to 19, the VMC has prepared the map to demarcate the wards. According to the UDD notification on January 15, the VMC elections will now have four corporators each for 19 wards, making a total of 76 as against the previous 75.
Accordingly, February 15 was the deadline for preparing the map. According to Municipal Commissioner Manish Bharadwaj, the corporation’s election department has submitted the draft of their delimited wards to the district collector, from where it will be forwarded to the state election commissioner. Bharadwaj told The Indian Express, “The wards have been delimited as per the UDD notification. We had one month’s time to do so and we have submitted our draft well in time. The wards have been divided into areas of 80,000 to 1,00,000 population. The aspects that are kept in mind include census continuity of the area during the mixing and merging of the wards and freezing the boundary. A total of 19 wards will have 76 corporators with two women in each ward.”
The state EC will then allocate seats in each ward. According to officials of the state EC, reserved seats will be allocated to the wards which show a high ratio of reserved class population. M Joshi, Secretary, State EC said, “We are relying on the 2011 Census data for the corporation elections this year and it is natural that the population of any reserved category would increase in some territory in the last 10 years. So the reserved seats will be allocated accordingly. We will then invite objections if any and consider those that are valid before making a final publication of the delimitation.”
Joshi says that once the delimitation is completed, the EC will prepare electoral rolls for each ward. “We have an updated list of registered voters as of January 1 this year. The same list will be recast into the civic polls,” Joshi said.
Joshi added that the EC is yet to set a date for the VMC elections. “However, since the five-year-term of the municipal corporation ends in October, the process of elections will have to be completed by then,” Joshi said.
B P Sudani, Resident Additional Collector, Vadodara, who is overseeing the delimitation said, “We will forward the delimitation draft received from the municipal corporation to the state EC within three days for their approval.”