Elections to local bodies, including panchayats and municipalities, will be held by the end of August this year.
As per the directions of the Supreme Court, elections to municipal councils and corporations should be completed within four months of the release of the 2011 census data. The data was released on April 30, which means the elections should be completed by the end of August.
“We will complete the poll process to municipalities by August. The State Election Commission is well prepared for it,” state election commissioner P Ramakanth Reddy told reporters here on Tuesday.
He said elections to panchayats, MPTCs and ZPTCs would be completed within 17 days of the state government notifying reservation of seats in local bodies.
Elections will be conducted to panchayat raj bodies as per the census of 2011. The State Election Commission (SEC) has already worked out the reservation as per the 2001 census. But, since the government has decided to take the 2011 census into consideration, the reservation for SCs, STs and BCs would change in several villages, Reddy said.
Though there was population figures in the census, the rural areas mentioned in the census should be interpreted in terms of rural areas for panchayat elections. The government would fix reservation as per the rural population and send it to the directorate of economics and statistics for approval. Only after that will the government finalise the reservation for SCs, STs and BCs.
Government officials informed the SEC that they would finalise the caste-based quota and issue a gazette notification by the end of this month. “After the gazette notification is issued, the SEC will be able to complete the whole process of elections to panchayat raj bodies within 17 days,” Ramakanth Reddy said, indicating
that elections to panchayat raj bodies would be completed in June.
After conducting panchayat raj elections in June, the SEC will conduct elections to municipalities by the end of August.
If the government first issues notification finalising the reservation for gram panchayat elections, the SEC will conduct elections to panchayats. If reservation for MPTCs and ZPTCs is notified first, then the SEC will conduct elections to ZPTCs and MPTCs first.
Ramakanth Reddy said gram panchayat elections would be conducted without party symbols but MPTC and ZPTC elections would be conducted on party lines.
Gram panchayat elections would be conducted in three phases, and MPTC and ZPTC elections in two phases.
Ramakanth Reddy held a regional-level meeting with Ranga Reddy and Nalgonda district officials to assess the preparedness of revenue, panchayat raj and police officials to conduct panchayat raj elections. Regional conferences have been held recently in Visakhapatnam, Eluru, Guntur, Nizamabad, Mahbubnagar, Tirupati and Warangal.