scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Friday, December 03, 2021

BMC to increase number of wards from 227 to 236, BJP calls it Sena bid to delay civic polls

Questions have also been raised on whether the BMC has enough time to redraw the ward boundaries so that elections can be held on time before the term of the existing corporators expires on March 7, 2022.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
Updated: November 11, 2021 12:36:57 am
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, BMC, Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena, BJP, Mumbai Cabinet, BMC electionsAccording to data from the BMC, there are 30 statues in the city and many of them were erected over five to six decades ago. (File Photo)

After a 20-year-gap, the number of wards in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to increase from the existing 227 to 236.

The State Cabinet on Wednesday approved the decision to increase the total number of wards as part of the decadal review of corporation seats with an aim to ensure that the total number of seats in various Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils are commensurate with the population increase in the respective areas.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), though, opposed the move to increase the number of seats, calling it an attempt by the Shiv Sena to postpone BMC elections.

The last time BMC saw an increase in its ward numbers was in 2002 when they were increased from 221 to 227. This increase was based on the 2001 census when the city’s population was pegged at 1.19 crore.

As per the 2011 census, the city’s population grew to 1.24 crore — an increase of 3.87 per cent over 2001.

State government officials have said that in lieu of the 3.87 per cent population growth, they have decided a proportional increase in the number of seats in the BMC and will be adding nine more wards to the corporation.

The state government will now issue an ordinance to bring the changes into effect. Last month, it had approved a decision to increase the total number of seats in various Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils in the state but had omitted BMC from its purview.

Questions have also been raised on whether the BMC has enough time to redraw the ward boundaries so that elections can be held on time before the term of the existing corporators expires on March 7, 2022.

State Election Commissioner U P S Madan told the Indian Express: “Let the state pass the ordinance and come to us. Thereafter, it will depend on BMC on how quickly the new draft of wards formation is done. They will have to rework the whole process. Ideally, it should have got our approval by last week of November for us to hold elections in time.’’

Meanwhile, a senior officer of BMC said that the urban development department of the state government, which had cleared the proposal, did not consult the BMC before taking the decision. He added that once the ordinance is passed by state, the civic body would carry out the reorganisation of wards in seven days.

Opposing BMC’s move, BJP leader Bhalchandra Shirsat said, “The government has not explained on what basis it has decided to increase the wards. This has been done for political convenience by the Sena and it is an attempt to postpone the BMC elections. Earlier, a decision was taken to increase seats in all corporations and no decision was taken about Mumbai. The decision to increase the wards has been taken (now) because Sena is scared of the polls.’’

In preparation of the elections, the BMC had also taken up the delimitation process that involved changing boundaries of the 24 administrative wards. The BJP had opposed the move and had alleged illegalities in the BMC draft electoral ward boundaries data.


BJP MLA from Andheri Ameet Satam said, “The BMC commissioner had submitted an incorrect proposal for redrawing of boundaries and objections were raised on it. The state election commission had asked for clarifications on these objections. The Sena realised that their game of redrawing wards to benefit their corporators was not working and it is for this reason that they have decided to increase the wards. Without a 2021 census, there is no reason for increasing nine wards in Mumbai. The Shiv Sena and BMC stand exposed in this.’’

The state government has, however, maintained that in view of the growing population of the city, it was necessary to increase the number of seats, adding, it was committed to holding elections in February 2022.

Additional chief secretary of urban development – II Mahesh Pathak said,

“Elections for BMC will not get postponed. The state election commission and the BMC will take a decision. Elections are due in February 2022.’’

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Mumbai News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement