Thiruvananthapuram: With the State Election Commission now actively involved in the process for holding the local body elections, there are now serious discussions on the wards that should be declared as reserved. The draw to decide on the reserved wards is likely to take place this month.
In 2015, the lottery for reserved wards was held in August itself. The state commission has indicated that the lottery this time will be conducted by keeping aside the reserved wards of 2010 and 2015 elections. The Commission has written to the local body secretaries seeking the list of wards that were reserved in the 2010 and 2015 elections.
The wards that were declared as reserved since the 2010 elections are being included in the provision because that was the year the ward delimitation took place.
50% of wards will be reserved for women. This 50 per cent will include reservation for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe women. The wards that were reserved for women in the last elections would be included in this general category now. However, there are wards reserved for Scheduled Caste General and Scheduled Tribe General. While these will be selected from the remaining 50 per cent, the Commission will give directions as per rules to exclude the reserved wards in the previous two elections. However, reservation is likely to continue in some wards in the local bodies where the total number of wards is in single digit.
Collectors to supervise panchayat lottery
The State Election Commission will issue guidelines this week or the next week on the draw for reserved wards. The draw of reservation of wards in villages, blocks and district panchayats will be conducted under the supervision of collectors.
The lottery in municipalities will be supervised by the regional joint directors of the Department of Municipal Affairs, while in corporations, it will be monitored by the Director of Municipal Affairs.
There are 941 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats, 14 district panchayats, 87 municipalities and six corporations in the State. Elections will held in all the municipalities except Mattannur.