DK Shivakumar on panchayat elections: 'Can we call ourselves a democracy...'

The Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar held the state government responsible for 'non-conduct of Panchayat elections' in the state and expressed his concerns regarding Karnataka State Election Commission's urgent petition in the HC questioning "if we can still call ourselves 'democracy'.
DK Shivakumar alleged the Karnataka government for 'non conduct of Panchayat elections' after KSEC filed an urgent petition with the High Court. (PTI)
DK Shivakumar alleged the Karnataka government for 'non conduct of Panchayat elections' after KSEC filed an urgent petition with the High Court. (PTI)
Published on May 18, 2022 04:24 PM IST
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ANI | | Edited by Yamini C S

The Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Wednesday, held the state government responsible for the 'non-conduct of Panchayat elections' in the state and expressed his concerns regarding Karnataka State Election Commission's urgent petition in the High Court questioning "if we can still call ourselves 'democracy'.

The state EC has filed an urgent petition in the High Court and said that it is unable to announce the election schedule for the impending local body polls as the State government has taken its powers away.

The court observed that a detailed examination of the petition was necessary and adjourned the hearing to May 23.

"Given the present state of affairs in the region and the country and the current petition by the State EC, how far would it be alright to call ourselves a democracy," he questioned.

"But when the Election Commission itself says the government has taken away its powers, can we call ourselves a democracy?" he asked.

While highlighting the constitutional validity of the state EC in an official statement, Shivakumar remarked that the Election Commission has autonomy and independence under the Constitution, and hoped the judiciary "to set things right."

The Supreme Court last Tuesday ordered that all states and union territories must hold pending elections to their local bodies before May 20 while hearing a case pertaining to Madhya Pradesh. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru's local municipal corporation responsible for the administration of the city, has been functioning without an elected council ever since September 2020 after its term expired.

Even as the IT hub is in desperate need of smooth governance and re-establishment of a structured leadership given its crumbling infrastructure, the Bommai-led government has been delaying the much-awaited elections for years, by citing either the need to redraw BBMP wards or the issue of providing reservation for backward classes.

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