WITH THE Supreme Court having cleared the decks for elections to panchayats in Haryana, the State Election Commission will now approach the Haryana government seeking clearance to conduct the elections. The new dates for the polls are likely to be announced soon. The nominations for the first phase of the elections were being filed when the poll process was halted mid-way after litigants approached the Supreme Court, challenging the amendments in the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act.
The State Election Commission had then decided to “conditionally” the nominations, pending the outcome of the case in the Supreme Court. In fact, while nominations were initially slow to be filed, after the SC stay, there was a spurt in numbers. The SEC has decided not to call for fresh nominations for the first phase and will scrutinise papers it has already received. A total of 94,128 nominations were received for 29,603 posts of sarpanches, panches, panchayat samiti members and zila parishad members.
Haryana State Election Commissioner Rajeev Sharma said that the new dates would be announced soon. “The election commission is ready for holding the election anytime. Once we get the clearance from the government, the new dates will be announced,” Sharma said.
“The amendments to the Act upheld by the SC would also ensure that the representatives who are elected are qualified. Educated sarpanches and panches would ensure better development of their villages. The programmes will be implemented better,” Haryana Development and Panchayats Minister O P Dhankar said.