SHIVAMOGGA: With the sudden spurt in Covid cases across the state, there is talk that the government is likely to postpone the forthcoming Taluk Panchayat and Zilla Panchayat elections, just as it had put off the Gram Panachayat elections by six to seven months in 2020.
Earlier, the State government had clarified that it would go ahead with both the TP and ZP elections slated for May-end, but the situation has changed in a span of just 10-15 days, and there is a sharp spike in the number of Covid cases in rural areas too. Highly places sources reveal that the RDPR ministry is planning to request the State Election Commission to postpone the elections.
Gram Panchayat elections were scheduled to be held in the summer of 2020, but with the lockdown being imposed, and a significant rise in the number of cases, elections were postponed. Later, the government deputed administrative officers to Gram Panchayats in the state. Aspirants are eager to know whether TP and ZP elections will be held on schedule. “As most of the aspirants are planning to contest elections, like me, we want clarity on the issue,” said Nagesh Naik, former GP president. They are confused whether to go ahead with groundwork, like getting the party ticket and putting their campaign strategy in place.
The State Election Commission completed the task of delimitation of TP and ZP constituencies. Accordingly, the number of ZP seats in the State increased by about 100, taking the total to 1,190 while TP seats were reduced by around 600 to 3,273. District election offices are engaged in preparing the voters’ list. In the next two weeks, area-wise reservation of constituencies will be fixed before the official notification about elections.
If everything goes by the State Election Commission’s plan, elections will be completed by May-end and the new body will function from June. Earlier, RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa had clarified that elections for TP and ZP will be held during the specified time period. If the government is thinking of postponing elections, it has to submit a request to the Election Commission, but this is as yet undecided. If elections are postponed, the government has to appoint administrative officers for TPs and ZPs in the state.