Nagpur: In a significant move, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government has decided to revise the existing one-member ward system to three-member Prabhag system for the upcoming elections of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) slated to be held early next year. The 2017 elections were conducted with a four-member Prabhag system but now the 2022 polls will be held based on a 3-member Prabhag system.
Currently, the NMC House has a strength of 151 members. Therefore, there will be 49 Prabhags with three members each and the last two Prabhags will have two members each. In NMC, the three-member ward system was in place in 2002. At that time, there were 136 Corporators – 44 wards had three members and one had four members.
As per the communiqué from the State Government, multi member Prabhag system would be continued as it is at Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils but excluding Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The notification mentioned that current four-member Prabhag could be continued as it is and in case the same is not possible then a Prabhag cannot have less than three and, additionally stated, not more than five members could be elected.
The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday approved the proposal mooted by Urban Development Department (UDD) for continuity of Prabhag at Nagpur along with other Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils.
The four-member Prabhag system was introduced by then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Shiv Sena Government for the NMC prior to 2007 when the general elections were held. Prior to that also there was the Prabhag system but the same was limited to two members and from that four members system came into place. Just last month, the State Election Commission (SEC) had notified the pre-poll programme and announced reverting to single member ward in all Corporations and Parishads. Similarly, NMC was directed to carry out ward demarcation based on the 2011 Census and the exercise would have taken about a month. After notifying the ward boundaries, SEC would have taken up the reservations for SC/ST, OBC and Women. Now that it is almost certain that the current Prabhag system is going to remain intact, the contest for the NMC would again take an interesting turn.