As we know Coronavirus has created ripples in our life and completely changed our way of life. Its repercussions are also seen in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) as election of new Mayor and Deputy Mayor is now slated to be held through video conferencing at the special meet on January 5. Civic administration notified the new arrangement on new year’s eve, marking a turn around as previously the special meeting of the House was arranged at Suresh Bhat auditorium. Now, citing COVID-19 norms notified by Urban Development Department (UDD),all meetings of the civic body would be held in on-line mode. In previous notification, it was mentioned that for election purpose off-line meeting is proposed as during voting connectivity issues might mar the process.
On Thursday, NMC clarified about the on-line mode of special meeting for the election. The NMC Secretariat has notified that election process for new Mayor and Deputy Mayor would be held at Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Standing Committee Hall at civic body headquarters in Civil Lines from 11 am onwards. Ravindra Thakare, District Collector, would preside over the special meet as the representative of Divisional Commissioner. Arrangement would be in place for the corporators who have submitted their nominations for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor and link for special meeting on webex video conferencing platform would be provided 45 minutes before the meeting time. Corporators have been asked to report their on-line presence 20 minutes before start of the meeting. As per the agenda, the proceeding of the meeting would start with scrutiny of the nomination papers submitted by candidates of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). After announcing the names of candidates in fray by the presiding officer, 15 minutes times would be provided for withdrawal of the nominations. A candidate who wants to bow out of the race has to personally submit written withdrawal to the presiding officer.
Thereafter, as required, Presiding Officer will conduct voting process and this would be the most exciting part. Till now, the modalities of the voting are not made clear by the NMC’s Secretariat. Even corporators are confused as to how their votes are going to be recorded given the connectivity issues that were faced in previous on-line meetings of the general body. Now, all eyes remain fixed on the Congress party leadership as the internal squabbling of city leaders has cut a sorry figure before the citizens as two nominations were submitted from the party for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor even with a nominal strength of just 28 corporators. With four days left for the special meet of NMC, Congress leadership would hardly be in any hurry to put its house in order and may wait till actual Mayoral election to take a call on its official candidate.