Polling for the municipal elections in Delhi will be held on December 4 and the votes will be counted on December 7, state Election Commissioner Vijay Dev announced Friday, setting the stage for the high-stakes civic polls largely seen as a three-way contest.
This will be the first civic election after the fresh delimitation exercise, and the much-awaited poll will be held in the gap between the two phases of the Gujarat assembly elections, which will take place on December 1 and 5.
With the announcement of the MCD polling date, the Model Code of Conduct has come into immediate in the national capital from Friday itself, he said.
"Filing of nominations will begin from November 7, and the last date for the same is November 14," Dev said at a press conference here.
"Scrutiny of nominations will be done on November 16, while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 19," he added.
Candidates can submit their nominations between 11 am and 3 pm. Polling will be held from 8 am to 5:30 pm.
The entire process of the election will be completed on December 15.
According to data shared by the State Election Commission, the total number of voters in Delhi is 1,46,73,847 -- 79,86,705 males, 66,86,081 females and 1,061 transgender persons. There are 250 wards in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
The municipal polls were slated to be held in April. They were put on hold hours before the then Delhi State Election Commissioner S K Srivastava was to announce the schedule on March 8, due to the Centre's plan to reunify the three civic bodies.
The three civic bodies were reunified by the Centre in May and the exercise for fresh delimitation of wards was started in July 2022.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on October 17 had issued the final gazette notification for redrawing of municipal wards in Delhi, paving the way for civic polls in the city.
The 800-page gazette notification by the MHA, stated that the number of municipal wards in Delhi will now be 250. Before the reunification of the three erstwhile municipal corporations, there were 272 civic wards in the city.
According to SEC officials, polls will be conducted at all polling stations using M-2 model of ECIL make EVMs. The SEC has already made elaborate arrangements to ensure availability of adequate number of EVMs for smooth conduct of the polls.
"At least one model polling station would be set up in each assembly constituency and one polling station shall be set up to be manned exclusively by women officer/officials in each constituency," a senior official said.
There will be nearly 13,665 polling stations this time. The number was 13,138 in 2017.
Soon after the announcement of the date, both the BJP and the AAP exuded confidence that they would emerge victorious. The Delhi Congress asserted that it has been preparing the ground work for the MCD elections for the past one year.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the BJP of creating mountains of garbage in the city during their nearly 15-year rule in the civic bodies, and asserting that people will choose the AAP in the December 4 polls.
In the civic election in 2017, the BJP had won 181 of the 270 wards. No polling could be held on two seats due to death of candidates. The AAP had won 48 wards and the Congress 27.
Several BJP leaders expressed confidence that the saffron party would win the civic polls for the fourth time in a row.
Inaugurating the BJP's MCD poll office at the party's Delhi unit headquarters on Pant Marg, Union minister Piyush Goyal said the Kejriwal government has "failed" on all fronts, including pollution control, reining in corruption and infrastructure development.
"People of Delhi are fed up with false assurances of the Kejriwal government, and are ready to give a befitting reply to the AAP in the MCD polls, and ensure massive victory of the BJP. They have also made up their mind to vote for the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha polls and uproot the AAP in next Assembly elections," Goyal added.
The Delhi Congress has been preparing the ground work for the MCD elections for the past one year and the party workers have been interacting with voters in every ward, said Anil Kumar, president of the the party's state unit, soon after the announcement of the poll date.
The SEC has upgraded the status of facilities at the polling stations from the earlier concept of Basic Minimum Facility (BMF) to Assured Minimum Facility, the official of the polling body said.
The officials said the maximum limit on expenditure by a candidate for election to a ward has been fixed at Rs 8 lakh.
The reunified MCD had formally come into existence on May 22 with IAS officers Ashwani Kumar and Gyanesh Bharti assuming charge as the new civic body's special officer and commissioner, respectively.
The erstwhile MCD, established in 1958, was trifurcated in 2012 during Sheila Dikshit's tenure as the chief minister.