Karnataka: Panchayat polls not anytime soon

  • The State Government has extended the term of Panchayat Raj Delimitation Commission by six months as the process of redrawing zilla and taluk panchayat boundaries is yet to get over. This could delay the panchayat polls, despite a Karnataka High Court order asking the state government to hold them at the earliest.
  • In October 2021, the state government had issued an order and appointed former BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana as commissioner to the Panchayat Raj Delimitation Commission and its term ended in April 2022.
  • The latest order by the Under Secretary (zilla panchayat) of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department, dated June 18, states that the Commission was constituted for six months in October last year, and the term has expired but the commission is yet to complete the task. The term will be extended till October 2022, it added.
  • BJP sources told The New Indian Express that the elections are conducted based on delimitation and the state government seems to be buying time, though the court order stipulates that the polls be conducted in eight weeks from May this year. Ahead of the Assembly polls next year, the government and party are likely to focus on this election.
  • When contacted, Lakshminarayana said that almost 70 per cent of the delimitation work has been completed and they are trying to complete the work by the end of July. Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Election Commission (KSEC) too is gearing up to hold the panchayat polls. KSEC Commissioner B Basavaraju said they are ready to conduct the polls anytime.
  • “We have already made preliminary preparations, and are capable of conducting back-to-back polls for the BBMP and panchayats. As per the court order, they are supposed to complete the process of delimitation and ward reservation by August,” he said.


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