Hyderabad: The State Election Commission on Tuesday said that the elections to Local Bodies will be held by the second week of July after the Andhra Pradesh High Court gave it the green signal to go ahead with the poll process.
The elections would be held as per the existing reservations (50 per cent) and the polling would be conducted through ballot papers, state Chief Election Commissioner Ramakanth Reddy told media persons.
Earlier, delivering its verdict on the validity of the state government’s decision to provide 60.5 per cent reservations to the weaker sections in the ensuing elections to Panchayats and other Local Bodies, Justice G Rohini said that the Courts would not interfere in the question of quotas at this stage.
Justice Rohini also quashed the petition filed by State Sarpanchs Association, which challenged the state government’s decision to provide 60.5 reservations to weaker sections in ensuing Local Body elections.
Rejecting the appeal of State Sarpanchs Association to order a status quo on the elections, the Court directed the State Election Commission to issue a notification for conducting of elections and begin the process for elections.
The Sarpanchs Association had contended that the action of the government goes against the directive of the Supreme Court that made it mandatory for the states to ensure that the total percentage of reservations does not cross 50 per cent of the total seats.
The term of the present elected bodies, MPPs and ZPPs would expire on July 21 and 22 respectively and that of Gram Panchayats on August 23.
The term of the special officers for 85 out of 108 municipalities and 10 out of 16 municipal corporations would end on September 29.
V V Prabhakar rao, who argued on behalf of EC said the conduct of elections to the local bodies was mandatory before the expiry of the term of the present bodies as per Articles 243 (E) and (U) of the Constitution dealing with this matter.
Hailing the judgment, State Election Commissioner Ramakanth Reddy stated the verdict has paved the way for the SEC to go ahead with the elections to Local Bodies.
Mr Ramakanth Reddy said that the SEC would issue a notification in this regard after receiving a copy of the Court’s ruling.(INN)