Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday stayed all proceedings for the conduct of elections to the mandal and zilla parishad territorial committees (MPTCs/ZPTCs). The hearing has been posted to April 15 with a direction to the State Election Commission to file its affidavit.
A single judge bench headed by Justice U. Durga Prasad Rao heard a batch of petitions on Tuesday filed by the BJP, TD and Jana Sena parties, seeking a direction to the SEC not to go ahead with elections as it violated the Supreme Court direction that the model code of conduct should be implemented four weeks before the date of polling.
The state government appointed former chief secretary Nilam Sawhney as the State Election Commissioner on April 1 and she issued the notification to resume the election process for MPTCs/ZPTCs from the stage where they were stopped last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She stated that the model code of conduct would come into force with immediate effect. She scheduled the conduct of polls on April 8 and counting of votes on April 10. The timeline fixed by the SEC for conduct of polls did not comply with the Supreme Court direction with regard to four weeks of model code of conduct.
Meanwhile, the SEC moved house motion challenging the single judge bench order staying the election proceedings for MPTCs/ZPTCs....