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Elections to the three municipal corporations in the national capital will be held on April 22, the Delhi State Election Commission said today. The announcement was made by State Election Commissioner S K Srivastava at a press conference here putting to rest months of speculation on the schedule of the polls, in which the BJP, the Congress and the AAP, are betting big. "The polls to the three municipal corporations of Delhi will be held on April 22 and counting will take place on April 25," he said. Informing that the nomination process will begin from March 27 and April 3 would be the last date for filing nominations, Srivastava said, "Scrutiny of nominations will take place on April 5 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is April 8." The commissioner also said the expenditure limit for a candidate has been hiked from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 5.75 lakh. Incidentally, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has expressed reservations about electronic voting machines (EVMs) and sought the use of ballot papers in the civic polls. Asked to respond to Kejriwal seeking the use of traditional mode of exercising franchise, Srivastava said, "Voting through EVMs is very safe. And, if the polls are to be held through ballot then some of the rules have to be amended." "We started the preparations for the polls keeping in mind use of EVMs only. The dates have been assigned accordingly," the the State Election Commissioner said. Kejriwal had earlier directed the chief secretary to ask the state election office for holding MCD elections through ballot papers. "We have sent our comments to the government on this," Srivastava said. The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated in 2012 into North, South and East Municipal Corporation or NDMC, SDMC and EDMC respectively. The BJP has been ruling the MCD since 2007.
The last polls were held in 2012.
The much-awaited polls will decide the fate of 272 councillors. While NDMC and SMDC have 104 seats each, EDMC has 64 seats.
The total number of electorate for the civic polls stands at 1,32,10,206, which include 73,15,915 men, 58,93,418 women and 793 voters in the other category, the state election commission said.
(REOPEN DES 30) For the first time in MCD elections, None Of The Above (NOTA) option will be available, Srivastava said. With the announcement of the date for MCD polls, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the national capital. Number of seats reserved for woman in North MCD is 42 while in South MCD is 45. East MCD has 27 seats reserved for women. According to the commission, around 17,000 personnel will be deployed for the polls. In North Delhi, 5,170 polling stations will be set up, while in SDMC and EDMC, 5,074 and 2,990 polling stations will be set up respectively. The State Election Commission said that voters can exercise their franchise after producing photo electoral rolls, electors photo identity cards and photo voter slips. During poll campaigning, loudspeakers will not permitted at night between 10 PM and 6 AM. On being asked about board exams of Class XII which is scheduled on the day of polling, Srivastava said, "If there is any exam on that date, we will make separate arrangements for voting and exams will be held separately by erecting barricades in school premises." He said that before the commencement of polling, a mock poll will be conducted in presence of polling agents.