Even as state Election Commission is gearing up to announce panchayat poll dates by Sunday, Nainital high court on Saturday ordered the state government to complete rural body elections by March 29. The government now plans to approach the Supreme Court seeking relief.
Hearing the fresh plea by the state government that it was not in position to conduct the panchayat elections in the near future, the HC rejected the plea and ordered the state government to conduct elections by March 29.
Tenure of the nominated heads of panchayat bodies will end before the deadline set by the high court.
Presenting a resolution of the state legislative assembly before the high court, the state government pleaded that it was difficult to conduct rural bodies election this early, as the government delimitation of panchayat bodies and wards was not yet over. The government counsel also said that it has the massive task of reconstruction of the disaster affected areas.
Urging the high court to allow the government to hold panchayat elections in June, the government counsel said that it will be difficult to manage such huge manpower needed for the panchayat elections, delimitation exercise, disaster rehabilitation and upcoming school examinations in March.
However, the HC did not accept the government plea and adjudicated that it must conduct the elections by March 29.
“We have been informed about the HC order rejecting the government’s plea. The government’s plea was mainly directed to facilitate better representation of the people’s act after completion of delimitation of panchayat bodies. We haven’t gotten the relief, and further course of action will depend on the government now,” said Vinod Phonia, principal secretary of rural development.
Meanwhile, departmental sources informed that the government has almost decided to seek relief from the Supreme Court.