Uncertainty again over holding local body polls

PUDUCHERRY, 24/06/2018: A view of the Local Administeration Department in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou

PUDUCHERRY, 24/06/2018: A view of the Local Administeration Department in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou


Govt. planning to move the SC seeking time to complete delimitation process

With the Local Administration Department planning to move the Supreme Court seeking more time to complete the delimitation process, uncertainty has once again gripped the conduct of local body polls, which has been due for the last seven years.

The Supreme Court on May 8 had set a four-week deadline to complete the delimitation process and had also directed the government to notify the election process after four weeks of completing the delimitation.

The government is yet to notify the delimitation exercise and initiate the process to conduct the elections. After the SC direction, the government had only taken a decision on the appointment of State Election Commissioner and reservation for Scheduled Caste in the local body polls.

A government source said the LAD is planning to move the Supreme Court seeking more time to conduct the polls. The deadline set by the apex court would come to an end in the first week of July.

“If nothing changes in the next few days, we will be seeking more time from the SC as a lot of clarification has been sought by the government,” said a government official.

A top official told The Hindu that an all party meeting held in May had failed to arrive at a consensus on the conduct of polls. Legislators of the ruling Congress and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had pointed out “discrepancies” in the delimitation process.

Some of them had pointed out that while in Puducherry a ward was constituted with 7,000 people as population base, in Karaikal, it was fixed at 5,000 people, and in Mahe and Yanam at 4,000. They wanted the base figure to be common and reduction in ward numbers plugged, said another official privy to the meeting.

A few of them even raised the issue of “validity” of conducting the election after the Meenakshi Sundaram Committee was constituted by the Union Government for arriving at a roadmap for local bodies in the Union Territory. The committee had visited Puducherry last year and recommended a different model of local bodies for the Union Territory, said an official.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), which had been championing the cause of the conduct of local body polls for a long time, had reacted sharply to the move to delay the polls.

CPI (M) leader V. Perumal, who is a petitioner in the case, told The Hindu that the delimitation process was being deliberately delayed to derail the conduct of polls. The all party meeting, he said, had given a hint of what was going to happen after the ruling party members themselves spoke against holding the polls. Except for the Congress and the AIADMK, all the other recognised political parties spoke in favour of holding the elections immediately. “I will certainly move a contempt petition if they delay the elections,” he said.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics Puducherry
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:16:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/uncertainty-again-over-holding-local-body-polls/article24248662.ece

Next Story