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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 24 May 2024 2.20 AM IST

Govt moots plan to add new 1200 wards in local elections; special cabinet meeting soon

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the local elections set for December 2024, the government is seriously pondering adding new wards in all the local bodies. An ordinance will also be passed in this regard. A special cabinet meeting will be held for this purpose on Monday. As per plans, 1200 new wards will be formed. According to rumours, the government is all set to bring new wards in areas deemed conducive for the ruling party.

The state election commissioner and four senior IAS officers are in charge of the committee. It will take six months to complete the process. At present, there are 21,865 representatives in 1200 local bodies. If the reform comes to fruition, there will be an additional 1200 members. A total of Rs 67 crore will be required to pay an honorarium for all these representatives. The Panchayati Raj and Municipality Acts will be amended to add each ward in all local bodies in proportion to the population. In panchayats, there is one ward for every thousand people. The re-evaluation is based on the assessment that the population has increased. Now, there are 13 wards in small panchayats and 23 in large panchayats.

In January 2019, before the last local elections, an ordinance was moved citing ward division, but the governor didn’t sign it. In February 2020, the bill passed by the legislature saw success in obtaining the governor's signature but was abandoned in favour of another ordinance due to the impossibility of ward division during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the government:

1. The Panchayati Raj and Municipal Acts provide that the number of local representatives should be determined taking into account the population.

2. Opportunity for more people to enter local government. Through that, more people's representation can be ensured in development. Constitutional proportional representation can be strengthened.

Other concerns:

1. Ward-wise voter list can be prepared and updated only after the wards are finally declared.

2. Procedures are complicated and costly. Complaints may take time to resolve

Local wards are determined based on census. Since no census happened during 2021, it remains impossible to determine the population estimate, so the ordinance.

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TAGS: GOVERNMENT, KERALA, NEW WARDS, ELECTION, LOCAL, BODY, GOVERNOR, ORDINANCE
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