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Andhra Pradesh SEC says won't hold MPTC, ZPTC elections due to insufficient time

ANI | Updated: Mar 24, 2021 23:33 IST


Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 24 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar on Wednesday said that the State Election Commission led by him will not be announcing the schedule for Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (MPTC) and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) elections as his tenure was coming to an end.
The Commissioner said that he would not be releasing the schedule in the current circumstances as his tenure would end on March 31 and said that the next SEC will hold elections.
"In due consideration of the judgment of Hon'ble A.P. High Court in W.P.No.4154vof 2021 and batch, the State Election Commission has initiated the following steps. A window of opportunity to hold the MPTC / ZPTC elections and thereby demitting office with a clear record of fulfilling the mandate which the Commission hoped for, however, was lost having to weather several unexpected legal challenges the Commission was beset with," read the notice by Andhra Pradesh SEC.
In all the cases wherein Form-10 is duly given, the course of enquiry as per State Election Commission's Proceedings has now become infructuous. The further enquiries of the Commission reveal that in cases where there was only a single valid nomination after the withdrawal deadline, Form-10 had already been issued by the Returning Officers concerned. The Commission, therefore, considers this as the final determination under existing Election laws and all further enquiries are terminated forthwith.
However, the contestants, as well as political parties, are open to approach the Collector and District Election Authority and submit in writing such of their legitimate grievances vis-a-vis the malafides of the Retuning Officers. On receipt of such complaints, the Collector concerned will cause enquiry. On enquiry, if any lapses which are intentional are found, the Collector concerned will recommend to the Commission departmental action under CCA Rules. Necessary wide

publicity will be suitably given by the Collectors in this regard at their end.
With regard to the resumption of the adjourned election process, the Commission is strictly bound by the provisions of the judgment of the Supreme Court as under, "We direct that since the Election Commission has already taken the decision to postpone the Elections, there shall be a post decisional consultation with the State of Andhra Pradesh before the next date is notified by the Election Commission. The Model Code of Conduct for the elections shall be reimposed four weeks before the date of polling."
In terms of the above, the Commission has successfully conducted elections in the case of Gram Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies with a code of conduct of 4 weeks preceding the election. The Commission would like to adopt the same procedure without exception in the case of MPTC/ZPTC elections as well.
Government servants across the board, have worked with a rare sense of dedication and responded beyond the call of duty in holding incident-free elections in the two phases of Gram Panchayat and Urban Local Body elections.
The Police force were hard-pressed too and the vaccination schedule was deferred which is highly commendable. The ECI in case of elections to the 5 State Assemblies, has already declared all poll staff as frontline workers and be covered under priority vaccination. It is also prudent in the context of nation-wide raising concerns of a second wave.
The State Election Commission has been adhering to ECI best practices all along and would like to adopt the same measures regarding vaccination. To facilitate this, the Government of India has to be addressed for necessary facilitation.
The 4 week Model Code of Conduct which is a prerequisite as well as the ECI observations concerning poll staff and vaccination programme, rules out holding of elections under my charge as my tenure is coming to an end shortly i.e., March 31, 2021. These responsibilities are best shouldered and addressed by my successor. Under these compelling circumstances, the Commission will not be announcing a schedule in case of MPTC/ZPTC elections. (ANI)

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