MPTC, ZPTC candidates of Andhra Pradesh in a fix as HC cancels Parishad polls

Deccan Chronicle.  | dc correspondent

Nation, Politics

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and other leaders are consulting legal experts on the HC verdict on the parishad elections

Govt is consulting legal experts, aware of SC insistence on four weeks notification time for polls, which was not given in respect of the parishad polls. (Photo: PTI

VIJAYAWADA: The MPTC and the ZPTC candidates are on tenterhooks over their future in view of the High Court verdict to cancel the Parishad elections.

Nearly 20,000 candidates had contested the parishad elections for which polling was held on April 8. Opposition parties Telugu Desam and Jana Sena filed petitions in the HC, claiming violation of norms in conducting the elections and sought their cancellation. The HC verdict turned a big barrier to the candidates who expected to breeze through the elections as the main opposition TD boycotted them.

Polling was held for 515 ZPTC seats and 7,220 MPTC seats on April 8. As many as 2,058 candidates were in the fray of ZPTC elections while 16,782 contested in the MPTC elections. As many as 126 ZPTCs and 2,371 MTPCs were elected unanimously.

According to reports, the government spent nearly Rs 150 crore on the conduct of parishad elections.

Earlier, the TD and other opposition parties lodged complaints with the then State Election Commissioner, Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, alleging that the YSRC government was misusing power and forcing candidates for unanimous elections, and demanded the cancellation of the whole election process. Ramesh Kumar deferred the elections, but conducted municipal and corporation elections. On March 24, he said that he was retiring on March 31 hence there was no time to conduct parishad elections and that the new SEC would carry out the task.

The new SEC, Nilam Sawhney, assumed charge on April 1 and issued a notification for parishad elections on April 8. The TD and the Jana Sena took objection to the notification and approached the High Court single bench which gave a stay order on April 6. The government claimed that as the election process already started with the municipal and the corporation elections, there was no need for four weeks' time for parishad polling.

The AP government challenged the stay order in the division bench which gave permission to conduct parishad elections, but did not give permission for the counting of votes. Later, the High Court gave its verdict cancelling the Parishad elections and ordering fresh polls which shattered hopes of MPTC and ZPTC candidates easily winning the elections.

Those who contested the MPTC and the ZPTC polls hoped that the government would appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court.

MPTC candidates Venkateswarlu and others said that the process started in 2020, polling was held in 2021 and now they have to face fresh elections which turned into a big worry. They lamented that presently the Corona second wave was surging and would not allow fresh elections. They said that the parishad elections were conducted smoothly and the fresh elections would be a huge financial burden hence the government should find an amicable resolution through filing appeals in the court.  

Sources say the government is presently concentrating on the containment of Coronavirus through curfew and other measures.  It is in a fix to go for appeal in the Supreme Court, apprehensive of a negative response as the SC had itself suggested the four weeks norm.  Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and other leaders are consulting legal experts on the HC verdict on the parishad elections and would act on their advice once the Covid-19 situation eases in the state.