Bypolls for 13 municipal wards in the capital are likely to take place in the first week of May.
State election commissioner Rakesh Mehta said they are awaiting the end of the budget session of the Delhi Assembly before scheduling the dates. “We will need 30 days so that the notification can be sent out in April. Once that is out, we could hold the bypolls in first or second week of May,” he said.
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The tentative dates for the capital’s budget session are March 22 to March 31.
After a PIL had sought bypolls in the 13 wards and to fill up casual vacancies in all three municipal corporations, the Delhi High Court on January 29 had asked the election commission to conduct polls within three months.
The election commission had earlier stated that it would need nearly Rs 21 crore to conduct the polls, which has to be provided by the Delhi government on behalf of the corporations.
Seats in these municipal bodies were vacated by councillors who had stepped down after being elected as MLAs in the Delhi Assembly. Nine wards have been without representation since December 2013, while councillors of four wards stepped down after assembly polls in February 2015.
Mehta also stated that the commission is currently engaged in delimitation of municipal wards ahead of the elections and the process could take until July.
The BJP, which leads all three municipal corporations, has said it would field candidates in all 13 wards. “The party is ready. We have a majority in all three corporations so we will continue to maintain it,” said South Delhi mayor Subhash Arya. The Congress, which had also approached court for filling these vacancies, said it will also be contesting all 13 wards.