HC clears way for polls to Panchayat Raj Institutions
Hyderabad: The Panchayat Raj Institutions in Andhra Pradesh will soon go for elections as the High Court here paved the way on Tuesday, asking the state government to fix the reservations at 50 per cent and submit a report to the State Election Commission in this connection.
The SEC will have to complete the election process within three months after receiving the report from the government, official sources here said.
AP has a three-tier Panchayat Raj system with gram panchayats, mandal parishads and zilla parishads.
The term of these PRIs ended in July\August 2011 but the state government shied away from conducting fresh polls due to political reasons.
The Telangana statehood agitation on one hand and the Jagan factor on the other made the ruling Congress jittery over conducting these elections.
The PRIs have been under special officer rule since August last year.
The Government of India stopped release of statutory grants to the tune of Rs 1500 crore due to non-conduct of elections to PRIs.
In the meantime, a petition was filed in the High Court seeking conduct of elections to the PRIs but the government said it had to first finalise the reservations (for various sections) as per the 2011 census.
With the HC verdict today, the state government will have to hasten the process and put elected bodies in place within three months.
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