In this State all the Urban Local Bodies are governed by the Board of Councillors/ Corporation constituted with the Councillors elected by the general citizens. As per statutory provisions term of every Board / Corporation is five years from the date of its first meeting after a municipal general election. After implementation of the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 in this State the State Election Commission has been constituted under the provisions of the West Bengal State Election Commission Act, 1994, and thereafter the power for direction, supervision and control in regard to elections to the Local Bodies has been vested in the West Bengal State Election Commission. The State Election Commission conducts the Municipal Elections as per provisions of the West Bengal Municipal Elections Act, 1994.
The Councillors are elected from a single member constituency, i.e. an ward. In the case of the Municipalities and the Notified Areas the State Government determines the number of wards of the Urban Local Body on the basis of the demographic data published in the last preceding population census. In case of Kolkata Municipal Corporation the number of wards has been fixed to 141 in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, 1980. In case of the other Municipal Corporations the number of wards are fixed by the State Government as per statutory provisions.
In this State Municipalities are classified in 5 different groups (A, B, C, D and E) on the basis of population in the following manner:
Municipal areas having population
Maximum admissible number of wards
above 1,70,000 but not
above 85,000 but not
above 35,000 but not
not exceeding 35,000.
In the municipal areas minimum number of wards has been fixed to 9.
For election to the Urban Local Bodies seats are reserved for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population with the same proportion to their population in the municipal area. One third of all category seats (reserved and unreserved) are reserved for Women. This reservation of seats is done by the State Election Commission by rotation as per provisions of the West Bengal Municipal Elections Act, 1994, and the West Bengal Municipal Elections (Reservation of Seats) Rules, 1995. If the total number of reserved seats for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe exceeds fifty percent and the number of the SC or ST seats stands to 25% of the total number of seats the post of Chairperson is reserved for SC or ST, as the case may be. In case of women also the similar principle is followed for reservation of the seat of the Chairperson of the Urban Local Bodies for the women.
After holding the election the process of constitution of the new Board/ Corporation, with holding of the first meeting of the newly elected Councillors, initiates with publication of the election result by the State Election Commission in the Official Gazettee. In case of the Municipal Corporations the Municipal Secretary holds such meeting and in case of the Municipalities the concerned District Magistrate or an Executive Magistrate nominated by the District Magistrate holds the said first meeting. In the first meeting the Councillors elect from among themselves a Chairman in the case of Municipalities, and Mayor, and the Chairman in the case of the Municipal Corporations.
If any casual vacancy occurs in any seat due to demise, resignation, removal of the Councillor, the State Election Commission conducts the bye-election for filling in the said vacancy.