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Civic polls in Uttarakhand uncertain in April after HC ruling

dehradun Updated: Mar 10, 2018 21:52 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times

The high court directed the state government to issue another notification within 48 hours.(HT File)

The Uttarakhand high court order on Friday quashing the BJP government’s notification to expand the municipal areas has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the urban local body polls due in April, even as the Congress has blamed the ruling party for the crisis.

“This (BJP) government is responsible for the quashing of its notification permitting merger of villages with municipal areas because it was a notification against the will of the majority of the people,” said Mathura Dutt Joshi, chief spokesperson of the state Congress.

“Such a notification was rightly quashed by the court but since it was faulty (notification) it has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the urban local body polls due in April,” he alleged.

Joshi alleged that the BJP government conspired to issue a faulty notification because it is not confident of a win in the ULB polls.

In its order, the court directed the state government to issue another notification within 48 hours.

It also gave the state government a week’s time to finish hearing of petitioners’ objections to its move to carry out merger of villages with municipal areas.

“That entire process that has to be implemented is a time taking process, which would involve complex procedures and may not be complete by March end,” Joshi said.

“That lengthy procedural process will certainly end up delaying the ULB polls, which the BJP is aiming at as it is not confident of its victory,” he alleged inviting a sharp reaction from the ruling party.

State BJP general secretary Naresh Bansal said: “We are confident of our victory in the urban local body polls as well and do not need any ruse to delay it.” Bansal also dubbed the Congress a party of habitual liars.

“We are confident because we won elections to five of the six municipal corporations even when that party (Congress) was in power.”

Bansal said they (Congress leaders) should be happy with the court order as it went in favour of villagers (petitioners) opposing merger of villages with urban local bodies in the court of law.

“It (Congress) should be happy because its leaders had openly supported villagers who opposed the government order recommending merger of villages with municipal bodies,” he said.

Bansal said the BJP government initiated the process of expanding municipal boundaries to accommodate a number of peri urban areas that have mushroomed around most urban areas.

“The idea was to ensure that all such peri urban areas are legally entitled to all basic civic amenities they are otherwise not able to access as legally they are not parts of urban local bodies.”

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 21:52 IST