KOLKATA: The elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation will be held on December 19, the West Bengal State Election Commission announced on Thursday, abandoning the state's earlier plan to hold the Howrah civic polls along with that of Kolkata. The model code of conduct for the KMC polls kicked in immediately.
"We have issued the KMC poll notification going by the West Bengal State Election Act, 1994," state election commissioner Saurabh Das said, adding the SEC "had not received any communication from the state on the Howrah polls".
Legislative complications over the territorial jurisdiction of the Howrah Municipal Corporation have come in the way of holding elections to the civic body. Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has so far withheld assent to the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill that aims to bifurcate the Bally wards from the HMC.
The elections to the KMC, along with 112 other municipalities and municipal corporations, were due in April-May 2020 but the polls were postponed due to the pandemic. The civic bodies are now being run by state-appointed boards of administrators.
All Covid restrictions that the Election Commission had announced during the recently concluded assembly bypolls would be followed for the civic polls as well, the SEC said. "Big gatherings and rallies will not be allowed in the city between 7 pm and 10 am. Not more than five people can participate in door-to-door campaign," he said.
The KMC poll notification did not specify a counting date. "The election process would be completed by December 22. Counting of votes is likely on December 21 while December 20 has been kept for repoll, if any," he added.
TMC ready with candidate list, workers hit the ground | page 4
Kolkata: Firhad Hakim, chairperson of KMC's board of administrators (BoA), on Thursday cancelled all his official engagements at the civic body even as speculation was rife about who would be Trinamool's mayoral candidate at the KMC poll slated for December 19.
Hakim has cancelled Saturday's Talk-to-Mayor programme and also conveyed he wouldn't attend office till the elections. Hakim's decision came as the model code of conduct was imposed after the state election commission announced that the KMC poll will be held on December 19. The present KMC BoA is, however, likely to continue till it is formally dissolved by the state municipal affairs department. Hakim, Kolkata's ex-mayor, had been helming the civic body since he was elected as the KMC mayor in December 2018.
"The BOA chairman has decided not to attend office till polls are conducted and a new elected board starts functioning. But if the other members choose to continue their official work of the board, they are allowed to do so unless they are not nominated for the polls. Else, the state municipal affairs department will appoint an administrator to run the civic body till a new board is elected after the polls," said a KMC official.
The Trinamool candidate list, which is likely to be announced on Friday or over the weekend, is likely to throw up surprises. This will be the first election the party will face after it introduced its one-person-one-post formula. Several KMC councillors and MMiCs are also MLAs. Taking a leaf out of its assembly election candidate list, octogenarian ward councillors may step back and let younger candidates take the way ahead. According to senior leaders, the party is also considering whether sitting MLAs will contest the KMC polls or not. Led by Hakim, this list includes former deputy mayor Atin Ghosh and BoA members Debasish Kumar, Debabrata Majumdar.
Juggling its heavyweight candidates, Trinamool is also unlikely to give multiple tickets to candidates from the same family. There are several examples when a family has multiple KMC councillors. But one thing was for sure, said a source, and that was the Trinamool list was likely to see a lot of youngsters and woman candidates.