BSP supremo Mayawati on Monday bated for the use of ballot papers in the urban local body election in Uttar Pradesh and said her party will contest the polls with full vigour. ”Voting for the municipal corporations should be conducted using ballot papers, and not through EVMs (electronic voting machines). The elections should be free and fair. This is our demand to the government and officials concerned,” she told reporters here. The Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission had on Sunday announced the urban local body polls in two phases, on May 4 and 11, three months after the high court quashed the government’s draft notification providing OBC reservation in the elections.
”The voting for the urban local body polls will be held on May 4 and 11. The counting of votes will take place on May 13,” State Election Commissioner Manoj Kumar had said. Mayawati also said that her party has decided to contest the polls with full vigour so that every section of the society could be taken care of at the urban local body level. Kumar had also said that the election would be held for 17 seats of mayor, 1,420 seats of corporator, 199 of nagar palika parishad chairperson, 5,327 of nagar palika parishad member, 544 of nagar panchayat chairperson and 7,178 seats of nagar panchayat member. The local body elections will witness the political parties, including the ruling BJP and principal opposition Samajwadi Party, trying to strengthen themselves ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The politically crucial state sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
There has been an increase of 107 local bodies as compared to 2017 when the urban body elections were last held. The new urban bodies consist of one municipal corporation, one municipal council and 105 nagar panchayats. As compared to 2017, this time around 96.33 lakh more voters will exercise their voting rights. According to the State Election Commission, this year more than 4.32 crore people will use their franchise in the civic polls as against 3.35 crore in the 2017 elections.