BHUBANESWAR: The State Election Commission (SEC) has set the ball rolling on holding urban body polls by directing Urban Development Department to furnish all details regarding delimitation of wards and reservation of seats under the municipal limits.
Sources said as the Budget session of the Assembly will commence from June 25, the State Government is likely to amend the relevant act and rules to cap reservation of seats for SCs, STs and OBCs within 50 per cent as per the Supreme Court order.
The High Court had struck down the Odisha Municipal (Delimitation of wards, Reservation of seats and Conduct of Elections) Amendment Rules 2016 last year for exceeding the 50 per cent reservation benchmark.
Though the State Government challenged the judgment in the Supreme Court, it had ruled in favour of the judgment. Following which, the State Government has to re-introduce the Odisha Municipal Rules -2016 in the State Assembly for necessary amendments.
As elections to urban local bodies, including Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, are pending since last year, the state government had appointed administrators for the civic bodies.
All eyes are now on the Mayor of BMC where direct elections will be held. The contest will be fierce after the high voltage Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
Though the ruling BJD won all the three Bhubaneswar city Assembly segments, the BJP candidate was elected in the recently held general elections.
Outgoing mayor BMC Anant Narayan Jena has been elected as the ruling BJD MLA from the Bhubaneswar Central seat.
The BJD and BJP had fought 2003 and 2008 ULB polls in alliance, but BJD fought the 2014 elections alone after the alliance broke in 2009.
Jena was nominated as Mayor for the first time after BJD won maximum seats.
In the 2014 ULB polls, BJD won from 49 out of the 67 wards and Jena was again nominated as Mayor.
The BJP and Congress won from four and two wards respectively in 2014 polls while Independents captured 12 Wards.
Direct elections will also be held to all ULBs including Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Rourkela municipal corporations.
BJD and BJP fought 2003 and 2008 ULB polls in alliance
BJD fought alone in 2014 after alliance broke in 2009
Ananta Narayan Jena was elected Mayor for two terms
BJD won from 49 out of 67 Wards
BJP and Congress won from four and two Wards respectively in 2014 polls