Hyderabad: Though Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is eager to hold elections to urban local bodies and start the new civic administration armed with the New Municipal Act, 2019, from August 15, Independence Day, litigation is delaying completion of the process.
As many as 60 petitions have been moved before the Telangana High Court challenging the delimitation of wards and division of votes in different municipalities.
The court has granted a stay with regard to around 50 municipalities, including Shamshabad, Vikarabad, Bhainsa, Nirmal, and Miryalguda.
The court stayed elections to Meerpet and Bandlaguda Jagir municipalities, which were upgraded as municipal corporations recently.
The main grievance of the petitioners is that the delimitation of wards was carried out unscientifically. The difference in the number of voters in adjacent wards was more than 10 per cent. The officials did not consider the objections in delimitation and division of wards and votes.
The petitioners pointed out that the state government brought in an ordinance in 2018, and the New Municipal Act 2019, to circumvent the statutory procedure of time limits in publication of voters lists and publication of wards and also giving time to receive objections and making enquiry and then publishing the final lists of wards and voters’ lists.
Municipal administration authorities have claimed that they have completed the required pre-election process, except the notification of reservation of wards and office of Mayor and Municipal Chairpersons of the civic body, and it will complete this by July 29. They have claimed that they did the process strictly in accordance with the law.
In view of the stay orders, the government cannot go ahead with the elections. Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi reviewed the court cases on Sunday with the law secretary and principal secretary, municipal administration, to work out a legal strategy.
Sources in the government disclosed that the authorities have decided to appeal against the stays before the division bench of the High Court.
Sources said that though the stays will be vacated, it will take another week to finalise the process to hold the elections....