Govt to approach SC against HC order on p'yat polls: BJP

THE GOAN NETWORK | JULY 04, 2022, 12:15 AM IST


The State government will challenge the recent High Court decision in the Supreme Court and seek postponement of panchayat elections, said State BJP President Sadanand Tanavade, suggesting that the BJP did not want to hold the polls without OBC reservation.

Tanavade also slammed the State Election Commission (SEC) for notifying the reservation without waiting for the government data on OBC.

"The State government will approach the Supreme Court against the High Court order asking the government to hold the panchayat elections within 45 days. We are ready for the elections anytime and are also confident of winning but we cannot hold the polls without OBC reservation," said Tanavade, who is in Hyderabad attending BJP's national executive meeting.

"I am of the opinion that elections should be held only after reservation. There should be no injustice done to OBCs," he added.

BJP leaders, across the State, were facing strong resentment from their cadres after the SEC announced the reservation for women, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe but stayed away from declaring the contentious OBC reservation, as the government failed to provide it with the data.

"The government had announced that it would come out with the data of the OBC within a week's time. So what was the hurry for the SEC to come out with the notification," the BJP chief questioned.

He said the SEC carried out the exercise of declaring the reservation in undue haste.

He further said that the BJP was ready to contest the elections but at the same time it did not want to do injustice to various sections of the society.

The HC, it may be recalled, had directed the government and the SEC to issue a Notification under Rule 10 of the Election Procedure Rules, 1996 appointing the date for holding of elections to 186 Panchayats as well as to complete the election process within 45 days. 

The orders of the High Court were issued, after it rejected the government’s contentions that it had taken a “conscious decision” to hold the panchayat polls in September in view of the ongoing monsoon season. 

“The monsoons, a yearly feature in Goa, cannot be elevated to the level of ‘a natural calamity’.... Merely because there may have been some flash floods or even cyclones in the past, monsoons generally cannot afford an excuse for defying the constitutional mandate in Article 243-E,” the Bombay High Court at Goa bench of Justices M S Sonak and R N Laddha had ruled.

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