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MCD polls date announced; expenditure limit for candidate hiked

The fate of 272 councillors in Delhi is to be decided soon after the Delhi State Election Commission said on Tuesday that elections to the civic agencies will be held on April 22.

“The polls to the three municipal corporations of Delhi will be held on April 22 and counting will take place on April 25,” announced State Election Commissioner S K Srivastava at a Press conference.

The nomination process to the poll is to begin from March 27 and April 3 would be the last date for filing nominations.

“Scrutiny of nominations will take place on April 5 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is April 8,” said Srivastava.

The commissioner also said the expenditure limit for a candidate has been hiked from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 5.75 lakh.

When asked to respond to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking the use of traditional mode of exercising franchise, Srivastava said: “Voting through EVMs is very safe. And, if the polls are to be held through ballot then some of the rules have to be amended.

“We started the preparations for the polls keeping in mind use of EVMs only. The dates have been assigned accordingly.”

It was in 2012, when Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated into North, South and East Municipal Corporation or NDMC, SDMC and EDMC respectively.

The NDMC and SMDC have 104 seats each, EDMC has 64 seats. And since 2007, the BJP has been ruling the MCD with the last polls being held in 2012.

After winning Delhi with a landslide, the AAP is intending to topple BJP from the MCD that too is girding up for the big fight to battle anti-incumbency with the Congress too in the race to establish itself in national Capital that before being routed in the Assembly elections ruled Delhi.

In a bid to “infuse fresh blood”, the BJP has decided to bars sitting councillors from contesting civic polls.

“We have unanimously decided to field fresh faces in the municipal elections. Even family members of the councillors and party leaders will not be given tickets,” BJP’s Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari said in a Press conference.

“In BJP, people do not work for posts. Everyone will work together and people will also accept it,” said the Bhojpuri actor-turned-politician.

The BJP has 163 councillors in the three civic bodies.

The total number of electorate for the civic polls stands at 1,32,10,206, which include 73,15,915 men, 58,93,418 women and 793 voters in the other category, the State Election Commission said.

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