The Supreme Court on Friday declined to put on hold the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh while issuing notice to the Central Government on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the State Reorganisation Act.
Issuing notice, a Bench of Justice H L Dattu and Justice S A Bobde said the matter should be heard by a larger Constitutional Bench as it involved constitutional issues, and the larger Bench could decide whether carving out Telangana could be put on hold or not.
The issuance of notice on the batch of petitions came after the apex court had on February 7 and 17 declined to entertain petitions challenging carving out Telangana saying it was then ‘premature’. The court issued notice on a batch of petitions, including one by former Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Kumar Reddy who had contended that the bifurcation of the state was against constitutional provisions and for political expediency.
AP Civic Polls
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered holding of elections to the panchayati raj bodies in the state.
With the serious warning from the apex court, the State Election Commission (SEC) is likely to issue a poll notification for zilla parishad territorial constituency (ZPTC) and mandal parishad territorial constituency (MPTC) elections on Sunday. The elections would be conducted in the first week of April.
The SEC is likely to hold elections in one phase and use ballot paper instead of electronic voting machines, which are being readied for the Assembly elections.
The state government has conducted election of sarpanches recently, but postponed ZPTC and MPTC elections. Then a petitioner approached the apex court over the inordinate delay in conducting the polls.
The state would be considered as a unit for ZP and MP chairperson posts, and district as a unit for ZPTCs and MPTCs. However, elections would not be held to all the 1,096 MPs as cases are pending in courts over merger or demerger of villages.
Election of the ZP and MP chairpersons would be indirect. The voters would cast two votes, one for MPTC and another for ZPTC. The MPTCs in a mandal would elect the MP chairperson and ZPTC members in a district the ZP chairperson.
The parties, contestants and voters would be gripped with election fever soon. March to May would be like the season of elections. Elections to municipal councils and corporations would be held on March 30. Elections to zilla and mandal parishads would follow in the first week of April. Later, Assembly and LS elections would be held in two phases.