Source: News Bharati English11 Jan 2017 17:07:34

Mumbai, Jan 11: Putting all speculations at rest, the State Election Commission Wednesday declared elections to ten municipal corporations in Maharashtra including the most prestigious Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The voting for these ten corporations will take place on February 21 while counting of votes and results will be declared on February 23, the election commissioner J S Saharia said while briefing reporters in Mumbai.

Pune, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nasik, Akola, Amravati and Solapur are the other eight municipal corporations that will go to polls on the same day. The current terms of Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Akola, Solapur, Amravati and Nagpur civic bodies end in March.

Amongst the ten, Nagpur is more prestigious because the prestige of Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari is at stake here.

Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad corporations are strongholds of Sharad Pawar-led NCP. However, the BJP has made considerable dents into the NCP bastion in the just concluded local body elections.

Along with these ten corporations, 25 Zilla Parishad (ZPs) will also go to polls in two phases starting Feb 16 and 21, the Election Officer said.

With the announcement of the poll schedule, the election code of conduct has come into effect from Wednesday.

Though the elections will be held in 10 municipal corporations, the focus will be on the country’s richest civic body, the BMC.

Leaders of BJP and Shiv Sena have so far spoken of their willingness for an alliance in these polls. However, there is no announcement yet of any seat-sharing formula.

In the 2012 polls, of the 227 seats in the BMC, Shiv Sena had contested from 158 seats and won 75, whereas the BJP had contested from 69 seats and won 32.

The BJP, which won the maximum number of seats in the recent municipal council and Nagar Parishad polls, is eyeing more seats this time around.

The HSC examinations will be held between February 28 and March 25 and the SSC exams between March 7 and 29.

In 2012, the BMC elections were held on February 16 and the new House of the BMC was formed on March 8.

The electoral roll for the BMC and other municipal corporations, as on January 1, has been updated on the SEC website.