The Karnataka government on Wednesday, August 3, issued a draft notification detailing the ward-wise reservation for 243 wards of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike for the long-pending civic body elections. The Supreme Court had on July 28 asked the Karnataka government to publish the ward-wise reservation list for the elections, which have been pending since 2020, in a week’s time.
Out of the 243 seats, 81 have been reserved for OBC candidates and 28 have been reserved for SC candidates. Four seats have been set aside for ST candidates and a total of 130 seats have been reserved for general category candidates. Of the total 243 seats, half have been reserved for women candidates. Citizens have been granted seven days to submit their objections, if any, with reasons in writing.
This development also paves way for the Karnataka Election Commission to announce the dates of the BBMP elections, which were supposed to be held in September 2020. The term of the corporators who were elected in 2015, ended on September 10, 2020, but to date, the Karnataka State Election Commission has not been able to schedule the elections, as the Karnataka government had not completed the delimitation of wards.
However, in May this year, while hearing a case on the Madhya Pradesh local body elections, the Supreme Court said that citing a pending delimitation exercise “cannot be a legitimate ground to not discharge its constitutional obligation in notifying the elections.” The Supreme Court ordered all state election commissions to ensure that the local body elections are held on time.
Shortly after, on May 20, the Supreme Court gave the Karnataka government eight weeks to complete the delimitation exercise.
TNM had in May 2022 published a three-part series on how Bengaluru's fragile infrastructure is crumbling in the absence of elected corporators due to the delayed BBMP elections. The series looked at how the strength of the ward committees has eroded in the absence of corporators, the legal obstacles that have to be overcome for conducting the elections and the political machinations underway to maintain the status quo.