Nagpur: The general elections of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) are likely to be held in March 2017. Most significantly, the election will be conducted on Prabhag system basis, according the directives issued to the concerned authorities by State Election Commission.
Along with NMC elections the polls for other local bodies will also be held in March 2017. The State Election Commission (SEC) has started its preparations to conduct NMC poll on the present Prabhag system basis. The elections are going to be conducted by SEC headed by J S Saharia as its Commissioner. Apart from NMC, the elections for 26 Nagar Parishads including a newly created Gram Panchayat in Nagpur Division will be held in March 2017. The Nagar Parishads include Kamptee, Umred, Ramtek, Kalmeshwar, Khapa, Narkhed, Saoner, Mohpa, Katol etc in Nagpur District.
The State Election Commissioner J S Saharia, after a review meeting, has directed the concerned officials to ensure impartial and transparent process in conducting the elections. The last NMC polls were conducted under Prabhag system basis. However, in the meanwhile, the State Government, in a notification, directed the polls be held on Ward system basis sparking speculations that the March 2017 elections could be held on Ward system. When asked to comment on the State directives, Saharia cleared the stand that holding local body elections on which system comes under purview of State authority hence we cannot comment on this. But he added that the State Election Commission has started its preparations to conduct the polls under Prabhag system irrespective State decision whether to hold the polls under Prabhag system or Ward system.
During the 2012 elections, two wards were converted into a Prabhag. Accordingly, Nagpur has now 72 Prabhags. The next election will be held on the basis of 2011 Census. This will increase the number of wards. The number of voters is fixed for each ward. Accordingly, the wards would be structured. But for structuring of wards, first the limits of wards have to be determined. Thereafter, certain wards are reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and other backward classes. There is likelihood of structuring of reserved wards in accordance with the new Census.