The municipal corporation polls in Kalyan-Dombivali and Kolhapur will be held on November 1, the State Election Commission announced Monday. The model code of conduct will come into force in these areas from midnight Tuesday. Counting of votes will begin at 10 am on November 2.
“We have given strict instructions to collectors and will appoint observers to keep an eye on anyone violating the model code of conduct,” said J S Saharia, State Election Commissioner.
The elections in Kalyan-Dombivali will be held for 122 seats, of which 61 are reserved for women. The corporation is currently controlled by the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena being the second-largest party in the corporation.
The election is being seen as a litmus test for all three parties ahead of the civic elections in Mumbai, to be held in 2017, amid a growing chasm between the BJP and Shiv Sena.
The two parties, which had split before the Assembly polls only to join hands at the state-level later, are still undecided about continuing their alliance in Kalyan-Dombivali. Meanwhile, leaders have dropped hints that the parties might decide to go solo.
Sudhir Mungantiwar, senior cabinet minister and BJP leader, said the state government plans to have participatory forums in all cities of the state to understand what schemes local residents want for their cities, instead of the government making plans by itself. “We will conduct a similar participatory meeting in Kalyan-Dombivali. But that will be conducted by the BJP, and not the state government,” said the minister for finance, planning and forests.
Civic polls in Kolhapur will be held for 81 seats, of which 41 will be reserved for women. The corporation is currently ruled by a Congress-NCP alliance.