Local body elections get Andhra HC nod
Hyderabad The Andhra Pradesh high court on Wednesday gave the green signal to the state election commission to conduct elections to 534 zilla parishad territorial constituencies (ZPTCs) and 7,621 mandal parishad territorial constituencies (MPTCs) in the state as per schedule on Thursday (April 8).
A division bench of the high court on Wednesday dismissed the interim orders given a day before by the single judge bench of the court, stalling the elections to zilla parishads and mandal (block) parishads on the ground that the four-week period for the enforcement of model code of conduct was not being followed.
Acting on a review petition filed by State Election Commissioner (SEC) Neelam Sawhney, the division bench gave the green signal to the commission to hold the elections as scheduled on Thursday.
The bench, however, ordered that the counting of votes and declaration of results should not be done on April 10. It referred back to the single judge bench to settle the issue.
Arguing on behalf of the SEC, senior advocate C V Mohan Reddy said petitioner Varla Ramaiah of the Telugu Desam Party had no locus standi to question the SEC’s decision as he was not a contestant in the elections.
He also pointed out that the four-week time for implementation of model code of conduct was not made mandatory by the Supreme Court. It only gave a suggestion, while hearing the case in a particular context. If the code is implemented for four weeks, all the ongoing developmental works would come to a halt, he argued.
In all, there are 660 ZPTCs and 9,984 MPTCs in Andhra Pradesh, of which 126 ZPTCs and 2,363 MPTCs were elected unanimously during the beginning of the election process in March 2020. Elections to the remaining ZPTCs and MPTCs will be held on Thursday.