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State Govt not in a hurry

THE STATE Government, it seems, is dragging its feet on the issue of holding elections to the urban local bodies. However, the notification for reservation of posts of chairmen in the Nagar Palikas and Nagar Panchayats indicates that the government is making all effort for the polls. On Sunday, the Governor gave nod to the reservation bill passed by the Cabinet.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2006 01:33 IST

URBAN LOCAL BODIES’ POLLS

THE STATE Government, it seems, is dragging its feet on the issue of holding elections to the urban local bodies.

However, the notification for reservation of posts of chairmen in the Nagar Palikas and Nagar Panchayats indicates that the government is making all effort for the polls. On Sunday, the Governor gave nod to the reservation bill passed by the Cabinet.

But, the exercise is a ploy to delay the polls. Hearing of the case is scheduled in the Allahabad High Court on September 22. In an earlier hearing held on September 8, the HC had directed the Government to issue notification before the next hearing of the case.

On one hand the State Government wants to avoid contempt of the court and on the other it does not leave any stone unturned to avoid the civic polls. When the case comes up for the hearing, the government will tell the court that it has issued notification for the reservation of the chairman posts and requires some time to implement it..

If the court gives its nod it will take another three months to complete the reservation process and by that time the Assembly election would be knocking on the door. Then, the civic polls could be delayed on the plea that it could be held after the Assembly elections.

Legal tangles could also delay the poll. Earlier, the reservation of the chairman posts was according to the caste population. Under the new system, it would be held by rotation. Still, the State Government has followed the old method of reservation in the notification of the chairman posts.

“There would be confusion galore before the polls, since the polls would be held according to the new reservation system,” said an official in the Urban Development Department.  He added that then the government would be left with no other option but to reserve the posts according to rotation.

“The posts reserved for backward castes in earlier elections might be declared reserved for the SC or declared general category posts,” he said.

According to sources, two petitions were already filed in the Allahabad High Court on Monday challenging the reservation notification. The petitions would also come in handy for the State Government, as its hearing might delay the election further.