Telangana Panchayat Chunav – The Telangana government will hold the Gram Panchayat elections in three phases on January 21, 25 and 30, 2019 and complete the process as per the Supreme Court directives. Telangana State Election Commissioner V. Nagi Reddy released the schedule for the elections to the GPs in three phases, in which close to 1.49 crore voters will exercise their franchise. Of the 12,751 GPs in the State, elections are being held to 12,732 panchayats while the term of 17 panchayats is yet to expire. Polls to two GPs could not be held because of court cases.
In all, 4,480 panchayats elections has been held on January 21 and elections for the second phase has to be held on January 25 for 4,137 Panchayats. The third phase of elections will be held in 4,115 panchayats on January 30. The total number of wards where elections will be held is 1,13,170. The notice for the January 21 polls will be released by the returning officers concerned on January 7. The notice for January 25 polls will be released on January 11 and for January 30 polls on January 16.
Mr. Nagi Reddy said the voters’ list prepared in May this year had 1.37 crore electors, but names of over 16 lakh voters had been added and another 4.52 lakh names deleted in the revision of electors list, taking the total addition to 12.34 lakh. New voters who attained the age of 18 on January 1, 2018 had been included in the voters’ lists during the subsequent revision.
The election authority had set up 1.13 lakh polling stations and the election would be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the three days. Counting of votes would be taken up on the same afternoon so that results could be declared by evening. Over 1.48 lakh officials had been drafted for election duties in addition to 26,340 personnel on security duties.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had made it clear after winning the elections that the Panchayat Raj elections would be his top priority and would enhance the quota for reservations to 50% and also bring an ordinance for this.
During the erstwhile combined state of Andhra Pradesh the reservations for SCs, STs and BCs was 60.55%. The Telangana government filed an appeal against the High Court order not to cross the limit of 50 per cent reservations in Panchayat polls, but the apex court refused to accord the sanction.
So, the TRS government had proposed 34% reservations to BCs, 24% to SCs and 9% to STs which adds up to 67 per cent. But if the government follows the court order, the percentage of reservation for the BCs will have to be limited to 23% and political analysts say that antagonizing the BCs could have an adverse impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Sources say that the Chief Minister is seeking legal opinion whether to seek more time from the court to conduct the elections and in the meantime might go ahead and issue the ordinance for providing a total of 67% reservation for BCs, ST and SCs.