Bhubaneswar, Aug 8: Putting at rest speculation that the notification for elections to urban local bodies could be delayed till Monday to allow it time to announce some more sops for the urban voters, the Odisha government issued the much awaited notification today.
The issue of the notification, however, was preceded by announcement of a slew of measures aimed at wooing various sections of voters which included the launch of the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) and Rashtriya Bal Swathya Karyakram (RBSK) and the enhancement of the journalists’ welfare fund from Rs 16 lakh to Rs 5 crore.
The Housing and Urban Development department, which issued the notification, also informed the state election commission (SEC) that the state government was ready to conduct ULB elections in the state. The SEC will announce the dates for the elections.
On Tuesday, the Odisha High Court had vacated the interim stay granted earlier, paving the way for the election process to get underway. Elections to 90 municipalities and Notified Arae Councils have to be completed before September 29. The government has decided to conduct elections to the Berhampur Municipal Corporation together with elections to these 91 ULBs.
According to sources, the SEC is likely to call an all party meeting on August 12 to finalise the dates for the ULB elections.