Chennai: State election commission is yet to give orders or notifications to district election officers on local body polls and this means there is no election till the end of 2017, said a highly placed official. The term of mayors in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and other cities with council members came to end in October 2016 and now a year had passed without elections to the vacant posts and there are no signs of civic polls at least for next two months, the official said.
“Local bodies are now busy with the monsoon and we cannot hold elections until December, said a municipal commissioner in the delta region. Usually, we need somewhere between 40 and 50 days to prepare for the code and then conduct polls, but now with the monsoon setting in, it will not be feasible for us to hold elections. To conduct polls you need school buildings and community centres, but these structures will now be converted into evacuation centres.
The civic polls are conducted by September and the new council takes over during October, but there are fewer possibilities to conduct polls during rainy days, the official added. “The state and the state election commission have successfully delayed the local body polls thanks to court proceedings, adjournments and interim orders which had come handy for the commission's delaying tactics,” opined another senior official.
“It is sad that the local body polls are delayed for political reasons. The public will have to rely more on officials during the ensuing monsoon. In case of floods it is the grass root politicians and councillors who chip in first offering food packets and relief materials, but now ward representatives will be missing in action”, said former corporation councillor Sukumar Babu.