EC declares February 21 ‘public holiday’ on account of BMC elections

EC declares February 21 'public holiday' to increase voter turnout for BMC elections
Representational Image. Courtesy: idiva.com

In a bid to increase voter turnout for the upcoming civic polls, including BMC, the Election Commission issued a notification declaring polling day – February 21 – as a public holiday.

On February 21, ten municipalities, 11 district councils and 118 panchayat samitis across the state of Maharashtra will go for polling. The elections in the remaining 15 zilla parishads and 165 panchayat samitis will be held on 16 February.

The country’s financial capital, Mumbai, typically witnesses below average turnout during the civic polls. During the previous elections in 2012, for example, only 42 percent of eligible voters had cast their vote.

For the current BMC elections, just under 92 lakh voters are eligible to vote.

All government offices, non-government offices, private shops, establishments, residential hotels, warehouses, IT companies, traders, industrial units, shopping centers, malls, retailers etc have all been asked to remain shut on polling day.

However, if the businesses and establishments are unable to give a complete day off on account of potential losses or previous commitments, they have been instructed to make certain concessions like allowing employees or workers to walk in late or allot two hour leave during the day to ensure they can go and exercise their right.

The term of the current civic bodies will expire on different dates between March 4 and April 3, whereas the term for the district councils will end on March 21.

The polls for Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Nagpur, Akola, Amravati and Solapur municipalities will take place on February 21 and the results will be out on February 23.

This report has been covered in a shortened or ‘Snippet’ format to ensure the most important piece of information is relayed in the shortest possible time. If the story develops further or more relevant information becomes available, we will expand it into a full length article.

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