Puducherry government to seek four months time for local body polls

Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangasam. File.   | Photo Credit: KUMAR SS

The government plans to approach the Madras High Court seeking at least four months time to hold the local body polls.

“We will seek permission from the Court on October 21, the day government has been asked to file a counter. We want at least four months time to conduct the polls after providing reservation for Backward Classes and Scheduled Tribes,” a top government source told The Hindu.

The government has appointed Senior Counsel Vijay Narayan to represent its case in the court, the source said, adding that the government wanted to intervene after the court gave two orders related to the local body elections.

Once the Court accords permission, the government would appoint a Commission to decide on the quota for the Backward Classes and the Scheduled Tribes.

The government thinks that conducting the polls without reservation for the two segments of the society would be unconstitutional and against (the) principles of social justice, the source added.

On October 11, the Madras High Court had issued a direction to the State Election Commission to keep all proceedings related to the conduct of the polls in abeyance.

The court gave its direction on a petition filed by Opposition leader R. Siva challenging a government order issued on October 6 rescinding the previous notification which provided 33.5 per cent reservation for the Backward Classes and 0.5 per cent reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the local body polls.

Upon rescinding the previous orders, the State Election Commission had announced the new dates for the local body polls on October 7.

Now, after the October 11 court order, legislators cutting across party lines have been demanding the withdrawal of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) so that the routine work of the government is not delayed.

State Election Commissioner Roy P. Thomas had conveyed to the legislators his inability to withdraw the MCC as that would amount to contempt of court.

According to government sources, the Counsel would also make a plea on the MCC when it approaches the court on October 21.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 7:52:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/puducherry-government-to-seek-four-months-time-for-local-body-polls/article37050918.ece

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