With the state government almost set to declare a four-ward electoral panel for the forthcoming elections in municipal corporations, PMC is likely to witness a major change in the political scenario as the decision is expected to benefit the BJP.
A sub-committee formed by the state government has proposed the four-ward electoral panel for the next civic polls and the final decision is to be taken by the state government. Among various major civic bodies that are going for polls early next year are Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and PMC.
As per the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations (BPMC) Act, there would be 144 electoral wards for a population up to 24 lakh, and thereafter, another ward would be added for every one lakh increase in population. Thus, PMC with a population of 31.34 lakh as per the 2011 census would have 152 seats in the 2016 elections.
The previous Congress-NCP government had decided in favour of a two-ward electoral panel in the 2012 civic polls. “The BJP-led state government has almost finalised the four-ward electoral panel for PMC. The decision might be declared any time now,” said a senior BJP leader, adding that the system would benefit his party in the municipal elections due to its spread-out strength as seen in the previous assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP won all the eight assembly seats that come under PMC and the Lok Sabha seat with a huge margin. “The BJP had its base in select pockets in the city, which got expanded across the city during the assembly and Lok Sabha elections. The party wants to encash on it and ensure that the win is retained,” the BJP leader further said.
There would be 38 panels in the PMC after the four-ward electoral panel is finalised. As per reservation, 50 per cent of the seats in each category would be reserved for women. However, the delimitation would take place with realignment of electoral panels for the next civic polls. The entire process would be carried out by the election department.