Elections to panchayat bodies would be held some time in the last week of June or first week of July and for the municipalities in the second half of August, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy announced here on Wednesday. These will be followed by elections to the mandal and zilla parishad, which will have greater bearing on next year’s Assembly polls, will be conducted in the first week of September.
Mr. Kiran Reddy disclosed his government’s plans at the one-day convention of the party’s newly-elected mandal, division, block, town, city and district committee presidents. These announcements were considered an indication of the Congress’ preparedness to face the elections.
“There is no question of shying away from the elections,” Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy asserted and clarified that the government could not hold the polls due to the Supreme Court’s direction capping the reservations at 50 per cent. “We did not want the BC community to lose out on the reservations,” he pointed out.
He expressed confidence that the Congress would come out in flying colours as was proved during the cooperative polls held some time ago. “We won 70 per cent of the cooperative societies and it should not be a problem for us to repeat the performance in the panchayat and municipal polls” he said.
Earlier, Panchayat Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy said He said as many as 2.50 lakh people would be elected to various panchayat raj, local bodies and urban bodies during the elections.
Several Congress leaders asserted that 50 per cent of the seats would be reserved for women in the local bodies’ elections. They said real ‘gram swaraj’ would be achieved if the Congress won a majority of seats in gram panchayats and mandal and zilla parishads.