Giving information in the Supreme Court, the Maharashtra Election Commission said that after the monsoon, the local body elections will be conducted in two-three phases. The State Election Commission told the Supreme Court that elections to 20 municipal corporations in Maharashtra can be held in September-October. Along with this, elections to 25 Zilla Parishads, 284 Panchayat Samitis and about 2,000 Gram Panchayats can be held in October-November. Along with this, the State Election Commission submitted a new time table to the SC earlier this week, in which the court had directed the Election Commission to start the election process in two weeks.

Now the State Election Commission has told the Supreme Court that the pre-poll process includes formation of wards, draw for reservation and finalization of voter list. Which is in various stages and will require at least two more months to complete. The process was halted on March 11 after the state government amended laws to remove the power to constitute wards from the state election commission.

An official of the State Election Commission, on the condition of anonymity, said that the Supreme Court in its March 4 judgment asked us to apprise the compliance of the order. We made it clear by apprising it of the commencement of the process that the actual conduct of elections was not possible before September. We also submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court last month stating that elections cannot be held during monsoon.

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According to the Election Commission, the pre-poll process for all 2,486 local bodies is expected to be completed by the end of June or mid-July. It said that the construction of wards in 14 municipal corporations including Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan-Dombivli would be completed by May 17. Whereas the process of reservation in these bodies will be completed by June 30. The SEC has said that the district councils and 284 panchayat samitis are expected to be completed by June 30, while the finalization of reservation will be completed by July 31.

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