The fate of urban and rural local bodies is hanging in balance even two months after the elections are over, thanks to the bifurcation of the State. The elected bodies in the eight urban bodies and 46 Mandal Parishads and Zilla Parishad in West Godavari district remain non-functional for want of a notification to be issued by the State Election Commission for conduct of polls to the Chairperson posts and swearing-in for the elected members. Whether or not the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission (APSEC) has the authority to do so after the appointed day, has come under question.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mullapudi Bapi Raju, the TDP candidate for the Chairman post of West Godavari Zilla Parishad, expressed hope that Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu would clear the air over the issue by June by taking up the matter of constitution of a new SEC for the successor State with the authorities concerned. “It is all part of the teething problems which any new State undergoes,” Mr. Bapi Raju said.
The State was divided at a time when the final phase of elections to the Chairperson posts was due . The urban and rural bodies have been under the rule of Special Officers for the last two years owing to the inability of the erstwhile State government to hold elections on expiry of their terms. The local bodies are still under the Special Officers’ rule post-elections because of the stalemate over the polls to the Chairperson posts. Zilla Parishad former Chairperson Meka Seshu Babu (YSRC) urged the TDP government to take urgent steps to solve the issue. “Amid the stalemate, development has became a casualty in all the urban and rural bodies for want of popular governance,” he said.