Hyderabad: The Telangana state government sought five more months to hold elections to municipalities and municipal corporations in the state, whose terms are due to expire on July 2.
On being asked by the court to submit state government’s stand on holding urban local body elections, Mr Arvind Kumar, principal secretary, municipal administration and urban development, filed an affidavit before the court seeking time of 151 days to hold elections to the 53 municipalities and three municipal corporations.
Justice Poonugoti Naveen Rao had earlier directed the state government to submit its report on holding elections to the urban local bodies, while dealing with three petitions filed against the government, alleging that the state was not taking necessary steps like delimitation of wards and finalisation of reservations to hold elections.
Among the three petitions, one was filed by the State Election Commission seeking the court to direct the state to initiate necessary steps to make them hold elections. Dealing with the petitions, the court directed the state to submit the state’s stand.
In the affidavit, Mr Kumar mentioned that state government had taken a policy decision to creating new municipalities and merge the existing gram panchayats into the municipalities for better administration. He brought to the notice of the court that the state has constituted 68 new municipalities, duly upgrading 173 gram panchayats and merging another 131 gram panchayats into the adjoining 42 municipalities and municipal corporations.
Saying that this re-division of municipalities needs more time, Mr Kumar sought more time to hold the elections. He submitted that the term of many gram panchayats had expired in a piecemeal manner and only after the expiry of their terms did the gram panchayats become municipalities. ‘As the merger and up-gradation of gram panchayats occurred in a piecemeal manner, it was a difficult task to take up one uniform pre-election process in the municipalities,’ he explained in the petition.
As the process of fixing the ward strength, publication of ward-wise electoral rolls, objections of public and political parties before final publication of ward-wise electoral rolls, finalization of seats of persons hailing from SC, ST, BC, and women voters consumes more time, 141+10 days was sought by state government to hold elections to all municipalities and municipal corporations....