Process to fill RLB seats put on hold

The State Election Commission (SEC) has decided to put on hold the election process – ordinary and casual elections – to several rural local bodies (RLBs) till significant improvement in the pandemic situation and the conditions getting conducive to hold the elections.

A total of 2,445 gram panchayat wards, sarpanches, MPTC and ZPTC member vacancies, both ordinary and casual including 126 sarpanches and 2 mandal parishad presidents, are to be filled.

At a meeting chaired by State Election Commissioner C. Parthasarathi here on Tuesday, it is stated that the Commission would take a decision in the matter at an appropriate time in the coming weeks/months after taking inputs from the health authorities and also in consultation with the State government.

According to SEC officials, as per Section 14(3)(a) and 15(4) of the Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 2018 and Rule 101 of conduct of election rules stipulate filling all casual vacancies of ward members and sarpanches in gram panchayats, territorial constituency members (MPTC and ZPTC) in mandal and zilla parishads within four months of the date of occurrence of a vacancy.

Accordingly, the SEC has initiated the process by issuing notification for preparation and publication of electoral rolls and polling stations. During March last week, it had also taken the State government concurrence for holding the elections. However, the SEC has written to the government again during the third week of April to review the decision due to surge in Covid cases.

In exercise of its plenary powers, the Commission reviewed the situation on its own and observed that it is not appropriate to hold elections due to the second wave of Covid-19.

Ordinary elections to 186 gram panchayat wards, 20 sarpanches, 26 MPTC members and 2 mandal parishad presidents and casual elections to fill 104 sarpanch posts, 2,094 gram panchayat wards, 34 MPTC members and 1 ZPTC member are due in the State.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 8:21:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/process-to-fill-rlb-seats-put-on-hold/article34537920.ece

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