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Constitution demands p’yat polls be held on May 21, HC informed

30 Apr 2017 08:02pm IST

Report by
Team Herald

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30 Apr 2017 08:02pm IST

Report by
Team Herald

PANJIM: The State Election Commission (SEC) has submitted to the Bombay High Court at Goa that holding panchayats elections on May 21 will be as per the Constitution as the five year term ends on May 20. The affidavit-in-reply also mentions that being Sunday; the working-class voters would not face any difficulties to cast their franchise. 

“May 21 is a Sunday, so there won’t be any problem for the working class people to exercise their votes. They will not have to take leave exclusively for this purpose,” said one SEC official explaining the contents of the affidavit. 

On the other hand, the State government earlier decided to hold elections on June 25 but it advanced the same to June 17, after a review this week. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar cited various reasons for the delay in holding elections. “Majority government employees will proceed on leave during this period and the State also witnessed a series of bureaucratic reshuffle in the last few days. So also, busy schedule during the State Assembly election period from January 4 till the announcement of the results on March 11 are the reasons why we thought of holding elections in June,” he had said at a press briefing earlier this month. Absence of voters, he stated would affect the voting percentage. 

Besides this petition, the High Court is also hearing another Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by NGO Mango Foundation that challenges the process of delimitation of wards and reservations. Advocate Wilbur Menezes, appearing for the NGO, submitted that for a free and fair election, delimitations and reservations should be conducted by SEC and not by the Directorate of Panchayats or Municipalities.

Menezes said that the advocate appearing for the SEC, when asked by the court agreed that it is indeed the Commission that should conduct the delimitation and reservation, and not the Panchayats department.


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