Tamil Nadu

T.N. offers to defer polls to rural local bodies in 9 reconstituted districts

The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi.

The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

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A fresh delimitation exercise will be carried out first, SC told

The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it would go ahead with polls for rural local bodies, except in nine districts that were recently reconstituted. The State has proposed to hold elections in the nine districts after a fresh delimitation exercise was carried out in them.

The districts where polls will not be conducted are Kancheepuram, Vellore, Villupuram and Tirunelveli and the five districts — created recently following bifurcation and trifurcation of these districts. They are Chengalpattu (from Kancheepuram), Tirupattur and Ranipet (from Vellore), Kallakurichi (from Villupuram) and Tenkasi (from Tirunelveli).

Besides, polling will not be held in Chennai on December 27 and 30, as the city does not have rural local bodies. The State Election Commission had on Monday announced that the notification for elections to urban local bodies would be issued on a later date.

The State government decided to modify its plans for the elections after the Supreme Court, hearing a petition from the DMK, insisted that fresh delimitation should necessarily follow reconstitution of districts. “You bifurcate/trifurcate districts and then say proper follow-up procedure (delimitation) should not be followed... The law must be followed and if it involves the postponement of elections, so be it,” Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde told senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and C.A. Sundaram, representing the Tamil Nadu government.

Before the lunch break, the Bench, also comprising Justices G.R. Gavai and Surya Kant, gave the State two options — either keep the reconstitution of districts in abeyance or not hold panchayat elections in the nine districts.

Tamil Nadu Advocate General Vijay Narayanan directed to get instructions from the government by 2 p.m., returned to convey that the State had decided to go with the second option. In its one-page note submitted to the court in the afternoon, the State said that taking into consideration the “extraordinary facts and circumstances” arising out of the reconstitution of nine districts, it proposed to hold panchayat elections at village, intermediate and district levels in all districts other than the nine. A fresh notification would be issued by the State Election Commission in this regard.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:24:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-offers-to-defer-polls-to-rural-local-bodies-in-9-reconstituted-districts/article30199932.ece

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