Gram panchayat polls:AP HC directs govt to send three officials to discuss COVID-19 situation with SEC

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Amaravati, Dec 23 (PTI): The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday directed three senior state government officials to discuss the prevailing Covid-19 situation with the State Election Commissioner so that the latter could take a decision on the conduct of elections to gram panchayats.

The court continued a hearing on the petition over the conduct of panchayat election, with the SEC favouring it and the state opposing it.

The court had earlier not accepted the state governments plea for a stay on the election process.

Both parties filed affidavits in the Court elaborating their stand.

The state government contended that it was not possible to hold elections, as desired by the SEC, in February 2021 as the Covid-19 vaccination programme would be on.

The SEC, on the other hand, stated that the election process had already begun and the court could not interfere with it at this stage.

The SEC informed the court that elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, panchayat raj bodies in Kerala and Rajasthan and state Assembly in Bihar were successfully conducted in recent times and there was no hitch to go ahead with a similar process in AP as well.

The court asked the state government to send three senior officials to the SEC to explain the prevailing Covid-19 situation, based on which the SEC would take a call on the elections to gram panchayats.

The court also directed that the government cooperate with the SEC in this regard. PTI DBV BN WELCOME BN WELCOME