The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 05-08-2022 | 02:45 pm
For one full year, over 800 election department employees of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) toiled round the clock to prepare for this year’s PCMC elections. Besides, the civic body had to shell out nearly Rs 50 lakh to put things in place. However, it now appears that their efforts were in vain as they will have to repeat the entire exercise following the Shinde-Fadnavis government’s decision to revert to the four-member ward system as in 2017. This also means that the PCMC is staring at a fresh expenditure of Rs 50 lakh.On Wednesday, the state Cabinet decided to go with the four-member ward system for civic elections across the state, setting aside the decision on the three-member system taken by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray last year.Civic officials said so far they have not received any intimation from the State Election Commission (SEC) in this regard. “We are awaiting further instructions from the State Election Commission,” assistant municipal commissioner Balasaheb Khandekar, who heads the PCMC’s election department, told The Indian Express on Friday.Under the three-member ward system, PCMC was supposed to have 139 corporators. “If the four-member ward system is implemented, PCMC will have 128 corporators. In 2017, there were 32 wards or ‘prabhags’. Each of them elected four corporators. For the 2022 elections, we had demarcated 46 wards,” said Khandekar.PCMC election officials said once the SEC conveys its decision, they will have to get down to the whole exercise of demarcation of wards, preparing voters’ list and conducting a draw of lots for reserving wards for various categories. “As I said, we are awaiting the SEC’s directives. As soon as we get it, we will get down to the task,” said Khandekar.PCMC officials said over 800 civic election department employees worked to update the voters’ list as per the 2011 Census, drawing new boundaries of wards, taking up objections and suggestions, drawing lots for reservation. “This exercise started last year and it took us almost one year to complete it. We did not even take our weekly offs. We worked on Saturdays and Sundays as well and on public holidays… We are today in a position to hold the elections any time,” said Khandekar.Election officials said the PCMC has made a provision of Rs 10 crore for conducting the 2022 civic elections. “For the three-member ward system we spent nearly Rs 50 lakh and there is a possibility that PCMC will have to spend another Rs 50 lakh for the whole exercise,” officials said. The major part of the expenditure was for printing the voters’ list, which cost the PCMC as much as Rs 27 lakh, they said.Raising doubts over the new election system, NCP spokesperson Yogesh Behl said, “The issue of civic elections is before the Supreme Court. In its last order, the court had asked the SEC to announce civic elections in two weeks. It is clear that the court does not want any more delay in holding the civic elections. Therefore, I don’t think the Supreme Court will approve the latest state government decision. If the decision is implemented, it would mean further delay in conducting the elections which, I am sure, the SC will not like.”
MUMBAI: Over a month after he stepped down as CM and announced his resignation as member of the legislative council, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is still to quit his Upper House membership. Sena sources said Uddhav was unlikely to resign, but would instead continue to ensure that the party's newly appointed leader of opposition in the council, Ambadas Danve, retains his post. Besides, the Sena is keen to ensure more votes for the MVA when election for the council chairperson is held. "Uddhavji hasn't given a formal letter of resignation. So, he is still an MLC and he will continue. He will not attend any session, but will retain his membership so that the Sena's and the MVA's numbers do not fall short during the election of the chairperson," a senior Sena functionary said. "At present, the post of chairperson is vacant and deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe (Sena) is holding charge. If the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government gets the 12 nominees from the governor's quota appointed, every MLC will count during the chairperson's election. So, it has been decided that Uddhavji will not resign for now. If the chairperson's election is held before the 12 members are nominated, the MVA can easily win it. So, Uddhavji's vote is important," the functionary added. The Sena has 12 members in the legislative council and has claimed the support of one independent. The NCP has 10 members and the backing of an independent. The BJP has the maximum of 24 members, while the Congress has 10.
With Maharashtra polls just more than two years away, the Bharatiya Janata Party which returned to power recently after a dramatic turn of events, will rely heavily on welfare politics to prepare the ground for the general and state elections, a senior party leader said. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had indicated that the new government, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, will focus on covering more population under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in urban areas.According to the BJP leader, welfare politics has indeed played a crucial role for the saffron party in reaping dividends in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. "With a very short period at our hand, the Maharashtra BJP unit has almost finalized to prioritise such schemes and policies over any big-ticket project," the senior leader said. Fadnavis had indicated that the Shinde-Fadnavis government will focus on expanding the PMAY coverage. "Our review found out that only 16 per cent of urban beneficiaries have built their homes under the PMAY. It is too little and instructions to increase the coverage of the scheme have already been given. In rural areas, the PMAY's coverage is nearly 75 per cent," he had said. Another welfare scheme the state government, in which the BJP is a majority player, may prioritise the laying of pipelines supplying drinking water at every home in semi-urban and rural areas of Maharashtra under the 'Jal Jeevan Scheme'. Launched in 2015, the PMAY is a flagship scheme of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Although at the time of its launch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had envisaged leaving no urban person without a pucca or properly-constructed house, various glitches and the coronavirus pandemic put a spanner in its coverage, the BJP leader said. Although the tenure of the current Lok Sabha and the Maharashtra Assembly ends in March and October 2024 respectively, due to the model code of conduct, the incumbent state government will have less than two years to take and implement policy decisions. The model code of conduct will also kick in during elections to several civic bodies due in the next few months. When asked about the two key welfare schemes the Shinde-Fadnavis government will focus on, the BJP leader said, "A house under PMAY scheme and laying of pipelines supplying drinking water at every home in semi-urban and rural areas are the two key projects we would like to focus on in the next two years. If we could succeed in increasing the number of beneficiaries under both these schemes, it would have a long-lasting impact on the beneficiaries and the goodwill could reflect in general and assembly elections in our favour". Uttar Pradesh has 80 Lok Sabha seats, followed by 48 in Maharashtra, 42 in West Bengal, and 40 in Bihar. "If we have to retain power comfortably (at Centre), the BJP needs to win a maximum number of seats in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The benefits of PMAY were witnessed in the UP elections, and we hope to expand PMAY coverage in Maharashtra ahead of the Assembly polls and Lok Sabha elections," said another BJP leader. According to the latest Maharashtra Economic Survey, urbanisation in Maharashtra is more than 42 per cent. Underlining the Survey findings, a former Maharashtra minister who belongs to BJP said, "The 'Jal Jeevan Scheme' of the Union government, which Maharashtra is also going to implement on a large scale, will be another key welfare project which we hope will create goodwill for us by the time the election schedule is announced. It would address very crucial and long pending problems in the rural areas". He said rural parts of the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions would be targeted under this scheme as the maximum number of people from these areas suffer due to a lack of assured drinking sources. "With the 'Jal Jeevan Yojana', the government would undertake laying of water supply pipelines, construction of drinking water tanks and connecting them to every household," he said. Out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, the BJP had contested 25 and won 23 in the 2019 polls and 105 out of 288 seats in the state Assembly polls. During a bye-election, the BJP won one more seat increasing its tally in the Lower House to 106.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has been calling his faction the "real Shiv Sena".Mumbai: While the battle for the claim to Shiv Sena is on in the Supreme Court, the Shinde camp is looking for a new Shivsena Bhavan -- a party office for the breakaway faction. Many claim the rebel faction is trying to set up a parallel Sena headquarters. Apart from Shivsena Bhavan, they are also planning to open new shakhas or local party offices everywhere, sources said.No location has been fixed yet for the new Bhavan, but they are looking for a place near the existing Shivsena Bhavan in Mumbai's Dadar, sources said.Rubbishing speculations of a parallel Sena Bhavan, newly inducted Maharashtra minister Uday Samant called it a misconception."There is a misconception that a parallel Shivsena Bhavan is being made in Dadar. However, we are trying to find a central office so that the CM can meet common people. We respect Shivsena Bhavan and it will remain so," he said.मुंबई दादर येथे प्रति शिवसेना भवन मा. एकनाथजी शिंदे करत आहेत हा गैरसमज पसरवला जात आहे..मा. मुख्यमंत्री महोदयांना सर्वसामान्य जनतेला भेटता याव ह्यासाठी मध्यवर्ती कार्यालय असावे आमचा प्रयत्न आहे..शिवसेना भवन बद्दल आम्हाला कालही आदर होता उद्याही राहील.— Uday Samant (@samant_uday) August 12, 2022Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has been calling his faction the "real Shiv Sena" and a follower of Balasaheb Thackeray's ideology while accusing the Uddhav Thackeray-led group of straying from the party founder Bal Thackeray's ideals.Earlier this week, Mr Shinde, who formed a new government in the state by joining forces with the BJP, expanded his cabinet after mounting criticism of a "two-person government". The Thackeray faction has claimed that administering ministerial oath to rebels MLAs, whose disqualification pleas are pending before the Supreme Court, amounted to "murder of democracy and the Constitution".Mr Shinde on Tuesday expanded his two-member ministry, 41 days after taking oath as the Chief Minister by inducting 18 ministers, nine each from his rebel Shiv Sena group and the BJP.The Thackeray faction is also fighting to keep their election symbol as the Shinde camp stakes claim over that as well. The Election Commission (EC) has reportedly given the Uddhav Thackeray faction 15 more days to submit documents in support of its claim on the party's election symbol -- a "bow and arrow".PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMr Shinde along with 39 other Sena legislators had rebelled against the party leadership in June this year, leading to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. The MVA consisted of the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party. The Shinde faction said Mr Thackeray had Eknath Shinde took oath as chief minister on June 30 along with BJP leader and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
MUMBAI: The state election commission has declared polls to 608 gram panchayats in 51 talukas on September 18. These will include polls to gram panchayats and the post of sarpanch. Counting will be held on September 19. The SC on May 17 had directed local body polls should go ahead in areas where rainfall is low. The 27% OBC quota will apply since quota has been cleared in a ruling last month. So this set of elections will the first major poll to be held after quota was cleared.
After taking over the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, one big change minister Bhupender Yadav has made is the way the ministry celebrates the special days. He made sure that meetings of the important bodies under the ministry are conducted at a location that has some relevance to the subject. So, the meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority in March was held in Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, and the International Tiger Day in July was celebrated in Tadoba-Andhari National Park in Maharashtra, while a Project Elephant event was held in Rajaji National Reserve in Dehradun in March. The minister took a trip to Sultanpur lake in Haryana to observe the World Wetland Day. On Friday, Bhupender Yadav went to Periyar, Kerala, to observe the World Elephant Day. In order to make the visit memorable, Yadav took a morning boat journey in Periyar Lake to get the glimpse of its beauty and the animals.Next Cong PresidentSetting in motion the exercise for election of the next Congress president, the Madhusudan Mistry-headed Central Election Authority is said to have written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, proposing the timeline for the election process. Sources said the leadership is keen on completing the election process before the start of the Bharat Yatra on Sept 7. According to the broad schedule announced earlier, the party has to elect a new president between Aug 21 and Sept 20. Sonia is expected to convene a meeting of the CWC soon to approve the timeline. With Rahul Gandhi not willing to contest, there is much interest in the party on who will be the next president. While some leaders believe Sonia will be persuaded to continue, many others argue a status quo will be disastrous. Among the names doing the rounds include that of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot.Back To BasicsRelieved of his duties as a Union minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been spending a lot of time in Uttar Pradesh, particularly Rampur. On Thursday, Naqvi was in Amroha, where he paid tributes to the UP Prachar Adhishthata of Arya Samaj, late Harish Chandra Arya. On Friday, he attended a party meeting with Rampur BJP chief Abhay Gupta. On Saturday, he will join residents and party workers at Rampur’s Mahatma Gandhi maidan for a Tiranga festival where kites in Tricolour will be flown. Kite-flying has been an old tradition in Rampur and the residents have made the tricolour kites on their own.