Bypolls for 13 municipal wards in the capital will be held on May 15, announced the state election commission Tuesday. State Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta said the results would be declared on May 28.
“The notification will be issued on April 18. The last date to file nominations is on April 25 and scrutiny of nominations is April 27. Last date of withdrawal of candidature is April 30. The date of polls is May 15 and counting of votes will be on May 17. The results will be announced on May 28. While the Munirka ward will be contested by women candidates, the rest are general wards,” said Mehta.
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The model code of conduct will come into force from April 18. “The government, including the local bodies, shall not announce any financial grant in any form or promise. No foundation stone of any project or schemes must be laid in these wards. No construction such as that of roads, new drinking water facilities, shall be made to attract voters,” said an official.
There are a total of 680 polling stations and 20,500 polling staff, including 13 election observers and 13 election expenditure observers. The commission has put a ceiling on election expenditure at Rs 5 lakh per candidate.
Mehta also held a meeting with the political parties. Each political party has been allowed three vehicles with mounted LED screens. “We have allowed one LED screen per vehicle per corporation to each political party. This comes to three such vehicles per party this election,” he said.
It will be a three-way contest
Thirteen wards of the three municipal corporations that have been vacant since the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections will be going to polls in May.
Congress state unit chief Ajay Maken said internal party surveys have given encouraging indicators about the party’s performance in the bypolls. “We will gain from anti-incumbency against both the AAP at the state level and against the BJP in the corporations. Senior functionaries are active in all these wards and first round of door-to-door campaigning has already been completed,” he said.
Meanwhile, state unit chief of the BJP Satish Upadhyay stated that “winnability” of the candidates is the main criteria for the bypolls. “Five of these are traditionally BJP seats, so we are confident we will win them again, ” he said.
AAP, which has already released its list, claimed that the candidates have already covered two-thirds of the constituencies in a door-to-door campaign, and the remaining will be done shortly.
Nawada – Naresh Balyan (then Independent). Resigned from MCD to contest from Uttam Nagar constituency, where he now represents AAP.
Matiala – Rajesh Gahlot (BJP). Resigned from MCD to contest from Matiala. He won the election in 2013 but lost the subsequent one to AAP’s Gulab Singh.
Tekhand – Sahi Ram Pahalwan (then BSP). Resigned from MCD to contest from Tughlakabad. He has now joined AAP.
Munirka – Parmila Tokas (then Independent). Resigned from MCD to contest from R K Puram. She is now a member of AAP.
Nanak Pura – Anil Kumar Sharma (BJP). Resigned from MCD to contest from
R K Puram. Lost to AAP’s Parmila Tokas.
Vikas Nagar – Mahinder Yadav (then Independent). Resigned from MCD to contest from Vikaspuri. He is a member of AAP.
Bhati – Kartar Singh Tanwar (then Independent). Resigned from MCD to contest from Chattarpur constituency. He represents the constituency for AAP.
Ballimaran – Imran Hussain (then RLD). Resigned from MCD to contest from Ballimaran. Lost to Congress’ Haroon Yusuf in 2013 and defeated him in 2015 on an AAP ticket.
Shalimar Bagh North – Ram Kishan Singhal (BJP ). Resigned from MCD to contest from Adarsh Nagar. He won the seat in 2013. In 2015 polls, he lost to AAP’s Pawan Kumar Sharma.
Wazirpur – Mahinder Nagpal (BJP). Resigned from MCD to contest from Wazirpur. Won the seat in 2013 and lost to AAP’s Rajesh Gupta in 2015.
Quammruddin Nagar – Raghuvinder Shokeen (then BJP). Resigned from MCD to contest from Nangloi Jat. He is now a member of AAP.
Jhilmil – Jitender Singh Shunty (BJP). Resigned from MCD to contest from Shahdara. He won the seat in 2013 and lost to AAP’s Ram Niwas Goel in 2015.
Khichripur – Vinod Kumar Binny (then Independent). Resigned from MCD to contest from Laxmi Nagar on AAP ticket. He has since joined BJP.