No legal barriers against holding Puducherry civic elections: TNSEC

The SEC is planning to hold the polls by end of April, considering the public examinations for Class X and XII students to be conducted in May.

Published: 18th March 2022 07:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2022 07:18 AM   |  A+A-

EVM, Voting

Representational Image. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: The State Election Commissioner on Thursday held a consultative meeting with officials as a preparatory measure for holding the long-overdue local body polls in Puducherry. The elections have not been held for the past 11 years after the term of the elected bodies expired in 2011.

There is no "legal barrier" against conducting civic elections in the Union Territory as on date from any of the courts of the country, State Election Commissioner Roy P Thomas, chair of the meeting, said. Almost all the representatives of political parties have invariably insisted on the elections being conducted at once without delay. The views were expressed at the 3rd All Party meeting of national, State, and registered parties and a CPI representative in the SEC's office on February 2, said Thomas.

The SEC is planning to hold the polls by end of April, considering the public examinations for Class X and XII students to be conducted in May. Polling stations will be set up in schools and teachers will serve as election officials.

According to the commissioner, It is now the SEC's duty to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case against the commission for not conducting polls in the UT. The recent appointment of Returning Officer and other election officials is the mandate of the SEC and it will continue to uphold high offices by them for the peaceful conduct of the elections, he said.

At present, there is no reservation order for Backward Classes (BC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) in Puducherry. In an order on October 86, 2021, the notifications dated March 7, 2019, the quota for municipalities and commune panchayats respectively had been "rescinded" by the government with the approval of the Administrator, said the commissioner.

However, a case filed by DMK leader R Siva regarding the reservation for local body elections is pending in the Supreme Court. The DMK had requested the SEC to hold the civic polls by reserving seats for BC and ST communities after the verdict is declared, Siva said. The case came up for a few hearings and the verdict is expected soon.

The meeting also discussed the various phases and preparations for the polls. Electoral officials from municipalities and commune panchayats participated and expressed their views.



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