Upcoming city council: 64 women, 35 BC and 23 SC

Come up to speed with how seat reservations for SC, ST, BC communities and Women are being done for Bengaluru's council elections.

With the BBMP polls scheduled to be held this later year, Citizen Matters has obtained a copy of the draft reservation of seats for Schedule Caste (SC), Schedule Tribe (ST), Backward Classes (BC) communities and Women. While the release of the final list is understood to be imminent, this unpublished version was received via Citizens’ Action Forum (CAF), a group of citizens and members of Residents Welfare Associations (RWA).

Town Hall

Puttanna Chetty Town Hall on JC Road. Pic: Venkatesan Perumal

The new and expanded BBMP (city) council when fully constituted will have 198 seats, as opposed to the erstwhile BMP council, which had 100 seats. The reservations for the council seats are carried out by the Urban Development Department (UDD) of the Government of Karnataka. You can see the complete draft list here. The final notification may have further changes.

A ‘Reserved Seat’ means a seat reserved for SC, ST, BC and Women.

Reservation guidelines, issued by the state government, say that 23 of the 198 seats will be reserved for the SC community. Of this, eight will be reserved for SC women, and one seat each for ST and ST women.

Article 243T (Part IX A) of the Indian Constitution says:

(1) Seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in every municipality and the number of seats so reserved shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in that Municipality as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the Municipal Area or of the Scheduled Tribes in the Municipal area bears to the total population of that area and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality.

(2) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes or, as the case maybe, the Scheduled Tribes.

(3) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the SC and the ST) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality.

The Backward Caste (A category) will get 35 seats whereas women of this category will get 18 seats. For the Backward Caste (B Category), nine seats have been reserved, while the BC women get four seats.

In the General category, 71 seats are reserved and another 36 for women.

Reservation of seats is done on a rotational basis, that is, wards that have been reserved previously will not be reserved for the next elections. For example, in the 2001 city council elections the Gandhinagar ward (then Ward No 27, now Ward No 94) was reserved for SC (women), but this time round, the draft list shows that it is for the General category.  The same with Madiwala (then Ward No 66, now Ward No 172) which was reserved for SC and is now in the General category.

At the time of publishing, Citizen Matters could not independently confirm the exact source of population data being used by the UDD to determine the ward reservations for various communities. However, the state government’s Deputy Commissioner for Bangalore district has posted the SC and ST population distribution for each of the 198 wards, apparently derived from the 2001 census data. This is available on the BBMP wards delimitation 2009 website. The website, however, does not mention the BC(A) and BC(B) populations in each ward.

Using the data at BBMPwards.org, and taking SC communities as an example, Citizen Matters did a calculation to identify which of the city’s wards had the highest SC populations. We then cross-verified the list with the draft reservations list of the UDD.

Of the 198 wards, here are the top 23 Bengaluru wards with the highest SC population.

Eleven of these wards above are in the draft list of seats reserved for SC communities (see here). Most of the others are for BC and a few are under the General category. However, it remains unclear as to how exactly the final list of ward reservations, especially for the BC candidates, is being done by the UDD. The Principal Secretary D Thangaraj, UDD, could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the UDD issued the notification on reservation on Saturday (August 22), but later withdrew the list since the code of conduct for the recently held by-polls was still in order (till Monday, August 24).

Comments:

  1. Gautam says:

    Its a sad thing that more than 75% of the total seats are under reserved category. This is mockery of democracy and free choice. The options for the voters are very limited. They have to choose among people from the reserved category only. And those who do not belong to these categories, even if they are good, cannot stand for elections. Indeed it is very sad that reservations are being made a part of the constitution itself! I am pained to see this complete mockery of free choice and democracy.

  2. Srikanth Parthasarathy says:

    Absolutely disturbing to look at the seat allotments. I do now know when will they get to the core objective of choosing the ‘Right’ candidate than a ‘Reserved’ candidate. Sorry state of affairs! and continues to be the same.

  3. Srikanth Parthasarathy says:

    Please read it as: I do NOT know when will they get to the core objective of choosing the ‘Right’ candidate than a ‘Reserved’ candidate.

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