Apex court agrees to holding elections to local bodies in two phases on April 6 and 11

The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted the Andhra Pradesh government’s plea for rescheduling the election programme for panchayat and other local bodies to be held on April 6 and 11.

A Bench of Justices Gyan Sudha Misra and V. Gopala Gowda, however, said results of the ZPTC and MPTC should be declared after May 7 after the completion of Lok Sabha polls. Polling in Telangana will be held on April 30 and in Seemandhra on May 7.

In its brief order, the Bench said: “The result of the election be declared after May 7, as it has been pointed out that April 30 and May 7 are the polling dates for the general election in the State due to which the results of the panchayat polls and local bodies should be declared after May 7.”

Hyderabad Special Correspondent writes: The court accepted the State Election Commission’s submission that it would hold elections to the mandal parishad and zilla parishad territorial constituencies in two phases on April 6 and 11. The court directed the SEC to change the polling day to April 11 instead of April 8 as scheduled earlier. The petitioner raised the objection that April 8 happens to be Srirama Navami. With the Apex Court agreeing to the schedule, the uncertainty over the dates of polling thus has come to an end.

While the SEC said it would announce the results on April 13, the petitioner objected that the results of local body elections will have an impact on the Assembly and general elections. The results would now be declared after May 7.

Earlier, a petition filed in the AP High Court that the results of municipal elections should not be announced ahead of the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections was adjourned to Friday, SEC officials said.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyothi Sen Gupta and Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar on Thursday heard the arguments in a batch of writ pleas filed by Bukya Saida and others, seeking postponement of results of elections for the urban local bodies.

Meanwhile, the SEC issued a show-cause notice to S.Md. Nauman, Member, AP Public Service Commission, for participating in campaign in support of YSR Congress Party in Nandyal municipality on March 25. It said that the participation of a public servant in campaigning activity for or against any contesting candidate or political party was against the model code of conduct. He was asked to respond on or before April 1.