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Andhra Pradesh HC gives nod to conduct gram panchayat polls in State

PTI Amaravati | Updated on January 21, 2021

To begin in four phases from Feb 5

In a setback to the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy administration, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday gave the green signal to conduct gram panchayat elections in four phases from February 5.

The Division Bench of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami, struck down the order of a single judge delivered on January 11 suspending the election schedule announced by State Election Commissioner (SEC) N Ramesh Kumar.

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The Division Bench allowed the SEC’s appeal against the single judge’s order and asked the Commission to conduct the gram panchayat elections in a hassle-free manner.

On January 8, the SEC announced the schedule for conduct of elections to gram panchayats in four phases beginning February 5, even as the State government contended that holding elections would not be possible in view of the Covid-19vaccination programme.

Notification for the first phase is scheduled to be issued on January 23.

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Reacting to the Division Bench’s order, the SEC said the Commission would conduct the gram panchayat elections as per schedule. He said the government assured the Court that it would cooperate with the Commission for the smooth conduct of the polls.

A meeting would soon be called with the Chief Secretary, district Collectors and SPs on poll arrangements, Ramesh Kumar added.

Published on January 21, 2021

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