Gujarat local body polls have been postponed according to an announcement by the Gujarat State Election Commission. For the announced postponement, maintenance of law and order has been cited as an issue. These elections were to be held for the various local bodies in the state. A notification issued by the commission has revealed the decision. After examination of the current law situation in Gujarat, the decision has been taken. It has been cited that elections must be held in a free, fair and peaceful environment in the state.
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Gujarat Local Body Polls Postponed
The notification issued by Gujarat State Election Commission does not clearly state the actual reason that may affect law and order situation. It simply states the same as a cause of postponement of Gujarat Polls. It is being projected that the cause of concern for the commission is the Patel Quota agitation, which, is the current scenario prevailing in state. The notification has been issued by Mahesh Joshi, secretary in State Election Commission. According to this notification, the EC will take decision regarding elections to local bodies, including District Panchayats and Municipalities, within three months. The decision will be taken after thorough examination of the current situation.
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Law and Order reasons for Local Body election postponement in Gujarat?
The notification by Gujarat State Election Commission stated that the term of 56 Municipalities, 6 Municipal Corporations, 31 District Panchayats and 230 Taluka Panchayats in the state were to have elections in the months of October and November 2015. This was due to the end of their term. Due to the necessity of holding elections in a fair, free and peaceful atmosphere, the current law and order situation across the Gujarat state has been evaluated by the EC. Post evaluation, it has been decided that the Gujarat local body polls be postponed. Further decision regarding holding the elections will be taken by the Gujarat State Election Commission after re-examination of the situation. This will be done in a time frame of three months. In case it is found that the situation is under control and suitable for elections, the process will take place as per a new schedule.
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Announcement from the EC has come after OP Kohli, the Governor issued a decree to bring law uniformity. This ordinance empowered the government of Gujarat to take decision regarding delaying elections. This would be done when there is apprehension regarding free use of the franchise by the citizens.
Following the plea by advocate Anirudh Sharma, a stay order has been passed by the Supreme Court, on the Gujarat local body polls. But this stay, was only for the Municipalities and Municipal Corporation polls. Because it did not cover the Panchayati Raj Institutions, Congress unit in the state met Varesh Sinha, State Election Commissioner. This meet was to request to accelerate the elections to Taluka Panchayats and District Panchayats across the Indian state of Gujarat. Congress has alleged that the current state government in Gujarat, which is BJP led, is currently uninterested in holding the Gujarat Local Body Polls. In their opinion, this is due to the situation created due to the Patel Quota stir.