Guv Khan returns ordinances on adding wards before local body elections

Arif Mohammad Khan | File Photo: JOSEKUTTY PANACKAL
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan . Photo: Manorama/Josekutty Panackal

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday returned two controversial ordinances that aimed to add one ward to each local body ahead of the elections scheduled for December 2025.
Returning the ordinance introduced by the government to the chief secretary, Khan said they required the approval of the Election Commission as the code of conduct is in place.

The ordinances sought to amend the Kerala Panchayati Raj and Kerala Municipality Act of 1994. The wards and boundaries in each local body are to be demarcated according to the 2011 population survey, as the 2021 census was not conducted.
The government has agreed to complete the process within a year. Elections will be held in December 2025, with new local representatives to be elected based on the newly defined wards.

Gram panchayats will have a minimum of 14 wards instead of 13 and a maximum of 24 wards following delimitation. As for district panchayats, minimum number of divisions will be 17 , now it is 16 and it will have a maximum of 33 divisions,which is currently 32. In municipalities, the minimum number of wards would rise to 26 and maximum number of wards will be 53. The minimum and maximum number of wards in Corporations would see an increase from 55 to 56 wards and 100 to 101 wards respectively, when the Ordinance is promulgated.

In the state, there are currently 15,962 wards in 941 gram panchayats and 2,080 divisions in 152 block panchayats. The number of wards in 87 municipalities is 3,113, and there are 414 wards in six corporations.
Once the ordinances are notified by the governor, the government will appoint a Delimitation Commission consisting of four IAS officers of the rank of secretary to oversee the changes.

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