The State Election Commission (SEC) Monday announced dates for the much-awaited process of delimitation of electoral wards and lottery for reserved seats for 10 municipal corporations, including Mumbai. As per the SEC, the draft delimitation list with SC and ST reservation would be announced by September 23 for all 10 civic bodies, including Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Ulhasnagar, Pimpri Chinchwad, Solapur, Nashik, Akola and Amravati.
For Mumbai, the lottery for women and other backward class reservation would be held on October 3, while it will be held on September 30 for Ulhasnagar and October 7 for the other civic bodies. Then, 15 days’ time would be given to submit suggestions and objections on it and hearing would be till November 5. The final ward formation would be announced on November 22 for Mumbai and on November 25 for the other civic bodies. The number of corporators in the BMC is fixed at 227, while it will be decided as per the population in Census 2011 for the rest of the corporations.
Sources said corporators across party lines have been eagerly waiting for the delimitation and the reservation lottery. Many corporators have halted work in the their wards reportedly due to lack of clarity about the delimitation of wards and the reservations on them, parties admitted. “All the political arithmetic for the civic polls will depend on it. In Mumbai, the SC and ST seats will increase. Also, 6-7 municipal wards will be reduced in south Mumbai and increased in the suburbs. This is due to the population shift in the city,” said a senior civic official.
The official further said that many corporators in Mumbai have also been attempting to reach out to two-three adjoining wards apart from their own, to secure a ward for themselves. Sources said many corporators and political leaders may switch parties after the announcement of the ward delimitation and reservations.