THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The stage is set for the conduct of election to local bodies, including the newly constituted 28 municipalities and Kannur Corporation, by November-end.
The possibility emerged after the State Election Commission chose to follow the path of consensus rather than confrontation with the government to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly.
According to State Election Commissioner K Sasidharan Nair, the poll panel will take a decision on the conduct of elections after studying the High Court order in detail. He also added that consultations will be held with the government before arriving at a final decision.
Top sources in the Election Commission told ‘Express’ that the poll panel would not insist on conducting election as per the 2010 ward delimitation as it had already backed the government’s stand in court that the election could be held by the end of November, incorporating the newly-constituted local bodies.
The possibility of a consensus had first emerged during a meeting between the poll panel and the government on August 24. During that meeting, the Commission had said it would not oppose the government’s attempts to seek legal recourse to include the 28 municipalities and one Corporation in the local body polls.
Sticking to that stand, the Commission filed an affidavit in the High Court on Wednesday clearly stating that it was possible to conduct the elections as per the schedule submitted by the state government before the High Court.
The government had told the court that it was in favour of conducting the elections in a single phase by the end of November to ensure that the newly-elected bodies could assume charge on December 1.
“Since we have already submitted an affidavit in court supporting the government’s stand, the possibility of a U-turn from that position is highly unlikely,” said a top official of the poll panel.
EC Dependent on Govt staff
Asked why the Election Commission supported the government’s stand in High Court, the official said this was done to ensure that the election, which is heavily dependent on government staff and resources, could be conducted smoothly.
“We are hopeful that the election will be carried out to the 28 new municipalities and Kannur Corporation as per the consensus reached between the government and the Commission,” Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali said, and added that the state government will hold further discussions with the Election Commission.