State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nilam Sawhney released notification for the conduct of polls to MPTCs and ZPTCs, the process of which was stalled due to outbreak of Covid-19 last year.
Polling will be held on April 8 and votes will be counted on April 10. Repolling if necessary will be held on April 9. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force with immediate effect in rural areas of the entire State and it will be in force till the completion of the election process. In fact, the SEC issued a notification for the MPTC and ZPTC elections on March 7, 2020 and the election process was completed up to the stage of publication of the list of contesting candidates on March 14, 2020.
However, the then SEC N Ramesh Kumar issued a notification on March 15, withholding the election process due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Ramesh Kumar, whose tenure ended on Wednesday (March 31, 2021), conducted the elections to Panchayats in February, and to Urban Local Bodies in March. But, he did not hold the MPTC and ZPTC elections.Though the government wanted the SEC to complete the remaining six-day process of stalled polls to intensify vaccination drive, Ramesh Kumar was not inclined to do it.
Sawhney, who took charge as the SEC on Thursday morning, held a meeting with the Chief Secretary and senior officials of Police, Panchayat Raj and Medical and Health departments. The government submitted a letter informing the SEC its preparedness for resumption of the process of elections to MPTCs and ZPTCs and urged it to consider early resumption of the paused process from where it was stopped.
Later, she also held a video conference with District Collectors and reviewed the preparedness of the official machinery for the conduct of MPTC and ZPTC elections. Later, the SEC issued the notification to resume the election process.
The opposition TDP, which faced a drubbing in the elections to gram panchayats and urban local bodies, is likely to boycott the MPTC and ZPTC polls though its candidates have filed nominations earlier, if the SEC does not issue a fresh notification for the local body polls. The YSRC had already won several MPTCs and ZPTCs unanimously.