Thiruvananthapuram | Amidst LDF’s charge that attempts were on to postpone civic polls, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said his government wanted to hold it as per schedule but a final decision would be taken after the court verdict on the matter on September 3. Government wants to avoid postponement of local bodies polls, scheduled to be held in October.
The government stand on the issue is very clear, he told reporters here after a cabinet meeting. The government wanted to hold the polls in a single phase as per schedule, he added. Election to Local bodies in the state ran into a legal tangle after the High Court stayed a government notification forming 69 new panchayats while approving the formation of 28 new municipalities and Kannur Corporation.
The State Election Commission (SEC) had pointed out practical difficulties in conducting polls in new local bodies saying it would delay the entire poll process and suggested holding the polls as per 2010 delimitation. However, the government wanted to hold the polls to these municipalities also along with other local bodies. A meeting was held between the government led by Chandy and State Election Commission last evening over the issue but no agreement was reached.
Rejecting reports that the government had differences with the SEC on the issue, Chandy said ‘Government discussed everything with the Election Commission yesterday’. Justifying the government decision to form 69 new panchayats, stayed by the High Court, Chandy said ‘panchayats were formed as per the opinion of people. In a democracy, government has to function according to people’s interest, he said.
Chandy dismissed reports that new panchayats were formed taking into consideration caste, religion and politics of the region as yardstick. ‘It was wrong to isolate Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second largest partner in the congress led UDF, over the issue’, he said.
There were reports that IUML was peeved over the development as majority of new panchayats falls in Malabar region, where the party has a strong footing. All decisions on civic polls, delimitation and other related issues were taken unitedly by UDF and the cabinet, he said.
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