Mangaluru, Nov 12, 2019: DK district administration states that all preparations for free and fair election to the council of the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) today November 12 are in place and the going is smooth. The polling will be held from 7 am to 5 pm.
The 180 candidates contesting for 60 seats in the Corporation, including 82 women candidates. As per the revised reservation list announced by the government, 29 out of 60 wards are reserved for women. As many 18 wards are reserved for women in the general category, eight for BCM (A) women, two for BCM (B) women and one for an SC woman.
While the Congress has fielded 29 women in the reserved wards, BJP has 31, JD(S) and CPM have 3 each, SDPI 2, WPI and CPI have 1 each. In addition, 12 independent women candidates are in the fray.
The polling personnel yesterday Nov 11, Monday reported at the mustering centre on the campus of the Rosario School at Pandeshwar, from where they left for the polling booths with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and other materials required. As many as 24 rooms at the School was allotted for the mustering process.
There were 495 teams with four personnel each for polling duty. As many as 37 teams have been kept reserve in case of emergency. As many as 448 D Group staff have been deployed for polling.
ADC Gayathri Nayak said, “As many as 61 KSRTC buses and eight other vehicles were used to ferry the polling personnel from the mustering centre to the polling booths. Wheelchairs are arranged for most polling booths wherever it was necessary. All the booths will have three rows – for men, women and senior citizens and sick – for the voters to stand in a queue to exercise their franchise.”
There are 3,87,517 voters in the MCC jurisdiction – 1,99,989 male voters, 1,87,465 female and 63 transgenders. There are 448 polling booths, with use of 601 ballot units and control units for polling.
Security : A Statement from Commissioner of Police Dr P S Harsha, says elaborate security arrangement are in place for peaceful polling. There are 75 critical and 373 normal booths.
Eight check posts have been opened wherein night picketing and patrolling will be carried out. One head constable and one Home Guard is deployed for critical booths, while normal booths have been given one police constable or a Home Guard.
Two DCPs, four ACPs, 12 police inspectors, 32 sub-inspectors, 511 head constables or constables and 193 Home Guards have been deployed.
In addition, five platoons of KSRP, 10 platoons of CAR and two units of Rapid Action Force have been deployed to maintain law and order.
Support for ’ward committees’ : More than two-thirds of the total 180 candidates confirmed their support to ward-level governance through ward committees and area sabhas.
The move follows a campaign launched by the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) Civic Group appealing to candidates contesting the elections to sign an affidavit to set up ward committees and area sabhas.
“We have already collected about 25 affidavits duly signed and will collect some more, as most candidates are busy in the electioneering. Most signatories are independent candidates and members of KRS, CPM and SDPI,” said Narendra Kumar, president, Nagarika Shakti.
He said that, as a part of the campaign, they had met party heads of the BJP, Congress, KRS and SDPI and explained to them the reasoning behind signing affidavits by candidates. Barring Congress, all party heads are overwhelmingly in support of people’s rule through area sabhas and ward committees, Kumar added.
“The above activity was in the backdrop of Karnataka Ward Samithi Vedike (KWSV) members deciding to make formation of area sabhas and ward committees, an election issue, where candidates will seek votes promising citizen’s rule if they get elected,” he said.
The KMC Act mandates all ward-developmental plans originate through area sabha meetings, where voters decide on what to spend the money and then the ward committees not only passes the plans but also monitor them.
The high court has ordered formation of area and ward committees in Mangaluru, immediately after election.
Narendra Kumar, who was a petitioner in the PIL related to formation of ward committees and area sabhas in the Mangaluru City Corporation jurisdiction, said that he would initiate a contempt of court petition to ensure compliance of the court order.