Itanagar: Majority of the MLAs in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly was of the view that the Panchayat elections due in May next should be held on schedule.
The issue of holding the Panchayat elections came up when Congress member Takar Marde moved a private member’s resolution in the House yesterday demanding the government to postpone the election until the Ad-hoc Committee on constitution of Panchayati Raj in the state came up with its final report.
Participating in the discussion, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said, “The state government has no such rule to interfere in the conduct of the Panchayat elections and hence, it should be held on time. There is no option except for going for the election,” he said.
Holding of panchayat election entirely rests with the State Election Commission (SEC), which is an autonomous body", he said.
The Chief Minister also said that the state would lose about Rs 500 to 700 crore per annum meant for implementation of centrally sponsored schemes like JnNURM, NREGA, IAY, besides the 13th Finance Commission fund and Backward Regions Grand Fund if the panchayat elections were not held or discontinued.
Finance & Planning Minister Chowna Mein said, “In case of its postponement it will send a wrong message to the people of state and other parts of country. We have no option left with but to go for the election.”
When requested by Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong, the Advocate General of the state, Ashok Saraf said, “Holding of elections is a constitutional obligation on the part of the state.”
The election has to be held before expiry of the tenure of present panchayats, he said adding that it can be deferred only in case of natural calamities like earthquake and flood .