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Bhubaneswar to vote on Jan. 8

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation office

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 6: Election to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation will be held on January 8, while the results will be declared on the next day.

State election commissioner Ajit Tripathy said: “Election to the post of mayor will be held on January 17 and deputy mayor on February 5. With the announcement, the model code of conduct has come into force and will be in force till the declaration of the results on January 9.”

However, election to the Cuttack Municipal Corporation will be held later on after it is dissolved on February 13.

With the announcement of election dates, hectic political parleys have begun as the civic poll result is expected to reflect the mood of the voters before the crucial general elections to be held on early next year.

The ruling BJD has routed the two Opposition parties in the municipal elections held recently in the costal belt and west Odisha.

Parliamentary affairs minister Kalpataru Das said: “We will certainly win nearly 60 wards in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation. No one should be surprised if we win all the 67 wards. The people are with Naveen Patnaik.”

In the last election, the city had 60 wards. BJD had won 40 seats, Congress five, BJP eight followed by others with equal number of seats. However, this time, polls will be held for 67 wards.

Reacting to the notification, mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said: “We will certainly get the dividends of the good work initiated by the us in the last one decade. A great transformation has been noticed particularly in the last five years. We have developed roads, sewerage system, street lights and handed over pucca house to the slum dwellers.”

Sources said a detailed plan has been prepared for Naveen campaign. As per the plan, Naveen will visit almost all the 67 wards and addresses a dozen of meetings.

State Congress chief Jaydev Jena said: “We are scared that BJD will use all its money and muscle power to win the election. But we will certainly put up a tough fight.”

On the other hand, the BJP would fight the urban elections here under the leadership of senior leader Biswa Bhushan Harichandan. “The BJP will use its network and the leaders will work in unison to fight the BJD. People of the city are already aware of the BJP’s contribution for development of the city.”

With the announcement of election, aspiring candidates have put up hoardings in various wards.

State election commission Tripathy said: “The council will be dissolved on December 9. We have also asked the state government to engage an administrator at the corporation to take action in absence of the council. The administrator will work from December 10 till the elected body takes over.”

Another senior poll official said: “During the election process two observers will be engaged to see the overall situation and three others to scrutinise poll expenditure. As per the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, each candidate can spend up to Rs 50,000 for campaigning.’’

The poll panel will open a control room on its premises to ensure conduct a free and fair election.

“We will announce the number of the control room in the near future so that we can get feedback from the voters,’’ said special secretary at the election commissioner’s office Rabindra Nath Sahu.

WAR BEGINS

THE SCHEDULE

• Issue of nomination forms: Dec 16 to 20 (11am to 3pm)
• Scrutiny of nominations: Dec 23 after 11am
• Withdrawal of nominations: Dec 26 by 3pm
• Publication of final list: Dec 26 by 5pm
• Date of polling: Jan 8
• Counting and declaration of results: Jan 9
• Election for post of mayor: Jan 17
• Election for post of deputy mayor: Feb 5

FIGURE IT OUT

• No. of wards: 67
• No. of polling booths: 660
• No. of voters: 6,90,239
• Expenditure cap for each candidate: Rs 50,000
• Poll observers: 2
• Expenditure observers: 3
• Campaign time: 7am to 8pm, to end 48 hours before polling

MODEL CODE

Came into force from 12noon on Friday and to remain in operation till completion of counting on Jan 9

' The model code of conduct will be effective within the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area and some nearby gram panchayats. No new work can be taken up, but ongoing development work will continue'

Ajit Kumar Tripathy state election commissioner