All developmental work outside the municipal council areas headed for polls will be allowed, the State Election Commission (SEC) stated on Tuesday.
With Pune having 10 municipal councils, if the election code of conduct was put into force in the entire district if there are elections for more than four municipal councils, more than 40 per cent of the developmental works would be affected. Elected representatives raised the issue and Pune district collector Saurabh Rao wrote the election commission seeking directions. The commission answered queries in a video conference on Tuesday, clarifying that ongoing developmental works being carried out in the city and rural areas beyond the municipal councils headed for elections will be allowed.
“We had put up questions that since the election code of conduct was for the entire district, it would hamper the development work. They said that developmental work beyond the municipal council areas can continue and would be unaffected by the code of conduct,” said Rao.
“We had also sought directions if the public representatives can attend functions and inaugurate projects. The commission said that if such programmes do not fall in the areas which are going for elections, the public representatives can attend them. However, the use of vehicles, guest houses and circuit house have been prevented,” he added.
As per election commission directions, all pending works can be carried out until the election code of conduct is implemented ahead of the municipal corporation elections. Even in rural areas beyond the municipal councils, pending works will not be affected. The collector further clarified that if an emergency development work has to be carried out in a municipal council area which is going for election, they have to seek permission from the collector and according to the nature of the work and in consultation with the election commission and as per rules, they will decide on permitting the work.
The SEC on Monday formally announced polls to the 212 municipal councils across Maharashtra. Touted as a ‘mini-Assembly poll’, the elections to Nagar Parishads and Nagar Panchayats will be conducted in four phases between December and February. Following the Nagar Parishad elections, the municipal corporation elections will be held.
Of the total 192 Nagar Parishads and 20 Nagar Panchayats, elections to 165 in 25 districts will be conducted on November 27. Elections to 14 parishads and panchayats in Pune and Latur will be held on December 14; 22 parishads and panchayats in Aurangabad, Nanded, Bhandara and Gadchiroli on December 18; and 11 parishads and panchayats in Nagpur and Gondia on January 8.
The counting for all phases will be carried out the day after the poll. Of the 212 municipal councils, in 192, voters will directly elect council presidents.
Earlier this month, State Election Commissioner J S Saharia announced that elected representatives of local self-governing bodies cannot utilise discretionary funds for development works three months before the end of their tenure, or from the date of announcement of the election schedule, whichever is earlier.