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Civic Body Elections Process

Posted by Admin on December 12, 2014 | Comment

In India, the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly polls are considered the festivals of democracy. But elections to the civic bodies too carry considerable significance for the political parties and the electorate. The concept of local self-government that was proposed in the late 19thcentury by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Ripon, is still in force in India. That’s manifested in the form of municipal governance. The local government in every state is democratically elected and it comes under the purview of the state or the provincial government. The Constitution has vested in state governments the power of controlling the entire process of conducting civic body elections.

Civic Body Elections in india

Elections to Municipal Corporations

Each Municipal Corporation has a committee comprising the Mayor and his Councillors. The members of Municipal Corporation are directly elected by the people. Every municipal corporation serves for a period of five years, if not dissolved earlier. Ensuring free and fair elections to the Municipal Corporation is the responsibility of the state election commissions.

The electoral roll for each ward of the city is divided into one or more parts on the basis of the area or street where the voters reside. Any individual can nominate himself as a candidate for a seat in any of the wards provided he fulfils the eligibility criteria as per the provisions of the Corporations Act of 1835. Some seats in the municipal corporations are reserved for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes and women.

Municipal commissioner, who is the de facto head of this urban civic body, is appointed by the state government from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

Elections to Municipalities and City Councils

Unlike the metropolitan cities, towns and smaller district cities have municipalities as a form of local self-government. The process of conducting municipality elections is akin to the one followed during municipal corporation elections.

The members of this civic body (also known as Nagar Palika) are directly elected by the people for a term of five years. The entire town is split into wards on the basis of its population, and from each ward a representative is elected. After the electorate choose their members by exercising their franchise, a president is elected from among those members. The primary responsibility of the president is to preside over and conduct municipality meetings.

It’s the state government that appoints a chief officer, along with an engineer, health and education officer, accountant and other officers from the state public service.

City Council or Nagar Parishad is an urban local body that’s in charge of administering smaller towns with more than 15,000 and less than 25,000 residents. Each city council is run by a committee comprising a chairman/mayor and ward members. The council has at least 15-20 members who are elected from several wards of the town on the basis of adult franchise. They are elected for a five-year term. Every city council has seats reserved for SC/STs, backward classes and women.