4 Himachal MC polls on April 7, high stakes for BJP
Shimla: Even as the BJP's focus remains on the four poll-bound states, the HP State Election Commission (HPSEC) has announced the schedule for four Municipal Corporations and six nagar panchayats.
As per notification issued on Saturday, the Municipal Corporations of Dharamshala, Mandi, Palampur and Solan, besides nagar panchayats of Chirgaon and Nerwa (Shimla) Ani and Nirmand (Kullu) Kandaghat in Solan and Amb in Una will go the polls on April 7.
There are a total five Municipal Corporations in Himachal Pradesh, three of which viz Solan, Palampur and Mandi were formed last year.
The five-year of Shimla Municipal Corporation will end in 2022. Thus it has been kept out of the poll schedule.
The counting of the votes will be held after the polling on April 7 and results will be available immediately after the counting.
State Election Commission Chairman P Mitra said the voting, through EVMs, will take place from 8 AM to 4 PM.
The process of filing nominations will start on March 22 and end on March 24. The scrutiny of papers will be done on March 25 and candidates can withdraw their nomination by March 27. This will be first-time that elections will be fought on the party symbols in these Urban Municipal bodies following an amendment made in the law, only three days back by the state assembly.
The HPSEC spokesman said "the model code of conduct has come into force within the municipal areas of the four towns. The code will be in force till the completion of the poll process". The state has already witnessed elections to the Panchayati Raj Institutions, which were swept by the BJP winning nine out of 11 Municipal Corporations.
One assembly seat –Fatehpur (Kangra) has also fallen vacant due to demise of Sujan Singh Pathania, a veteran congress leader and former minister. The BJP, thus, has high stakes in the urban body polls and also assembly bypoll–seen as test of the popularity for Jai Ram Thakur, who will face assembly polls in 2022.