HYDERABAD: Voting for the 150 Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) divisions will be held on December 1 and the results will be out on December 4, according to a notification released by the Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) on Tuesday.
The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into force with immediate effect. Also, the polling time has been extended by one hour in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, i.e., from 7 am to 6 pm as against the previous timings of 7 am to 5 pm.
According to the notification released by State Election Commissioner C Parthasarathi, the filing of nominations will start from Wednesday between 11 am and 3 pm, and the RO will display the electoral rolls at their respective offices from Wednesday.
The last date for filing nominations is November 20, and these will be scrutinised on November 21. Candidates who wish to withdraw their nominations can do so before 3 pm on November 22, after which the final list of candidates will be published on the same day.
Re-polling, if any, will be held on December 3, counting of votes will start from 8 am on December 4 and the results will be declared on the same day. The election process would be completed by December 6.
The GHMC elections would be held by ballot papers as many political parties preferred this mode over electronic voting machines (EVMs) due to various litigations and also as per the Supreme Court orders. As many as 28,500 boxes have been procured by the civic body from Andhra Pradesh and are being painted. The reservations implemented in the 2016 election will stay for the upcoming poll.
Regarding the distribution of the interim financial aid of Rs 10,000 to rain-affected families in the Greater Hyderabad limits, Parthasarathi said calamity relief is exempted from the Model Code of Conduct. However, the distribution should be done online and the amount has to be transferred to the beneficiaries' accounts. Physical distribution of aid will not be permitted, he said.
Replying to another question on the schedule being released on such a short notice without giving adequate time for parties to prepare, Parthasarathi said as per the new GHMC Act, the dates have to be decided in consultation with the government. He also clarified that there would be no e-voting as a legal amendment is required to introduce it. Besides, the software is not ready, and developing one would take over a month.
Up to Rs 50,000 cash can be carried by the citizens in the city, any anyone carrying anything more than this would have to produce documentary evidence — such as for marriage, business or other purposes.
Parthasarathi said that the GHMC poll is being held in exercise of powers conferred by Articles 243-K and 243-ZA of the Constitution read with Sections 7(1), 9, 10 and 24 of the GHMC Act, 1955. The State Election Commision has called upon voters of all the 150 divisions to elect the members in accordance with the provisions of the said Act.