Maiden elections for the Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC), adjoining Mumbai, will be held on May 24, a top election commission official said here today. "The elections will also be held on May 24 for existing Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Malegaon municipal corporations," Maharashtra State Election Commissioner J S Saharia said. The counting of votes will be done on May 26. The elections will be the test for the Congress to retain power in the Bhiwandi-Nizampur and the Malegaon municipal corporations, whereas in the newly-created Panvel municipal corporation, the contest is expected to be between the NCP and the Peasants and Workers Party of India (PWP-I). "In order to enable voters to search their names in the voters list and locate their nearest polling booths, the voters list for the three municipal corporations will be announced on April 24, one month in advance to the date of the polling," Saharia said. In 2012, the elections to the Bhiwandi-Nizampur and the Malegaon municipal corporations were held on April 15 though the terms of both the urban civic bodies were supposed to expire on June 10 and June 14, respectively. "As per law, elections should be held before the term of the civic house comes to end.
The existing civic house can continue till the term of its expiry, after which the new elected body of the civic house commences," the election commissioner said. The newly-created PCMC will have a house of 78 seats. While total population under the Panvel municipal corporation is 5.09 lakh, the number of registered voters stood at 4.25 lakh. Raigad district, in which Panvel falls, has traditionally been the stronghold of the NCP and the PWP. While the Shiv Sena represents Raigad Lok Sabha seat, the presence of the BJP is limited in the coastal district. The Congress is currently the ruling party in the Bhiwandi-Nizampur (90 seats) municipal corporation and the Malegaon (84 seats) municipal corporation. While the population under the Bhiwandi-Nizampur civic body is 7.09 lakh, the number of voters stood at 4.79 lakh. Total population under the Malegaon Municipal Corporation is 5.90 lakh, while the number of voters stood at 3.91 lakh. The nomination papers for the elections will be accepted online from April 29 to May 6 (excluding May 1 being the Maharashtra Day), Saharia said. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on May 8, and the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is May 11, he said. The allotment of election symbols will be done on May 12 and the final publication of the list of contestants will be made on May 12.