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Monday, January 17, 2022

Madhya Pradesh plans to pull back Panchayat Act Ordinance

🔴 The cabinet’s move to withdraw the Ordinance is believed to have made way for a stay on panchayat elections.

Written by Iram Siddique | Bhopal |
December 27, 2021 3:37:59 am
vishwa hindu parishad, VHP rally, Hindu right-wing organisations, madhya pradesh, Shourya yatra, violence in Manawar town, communal clashes, madhya pradesh news, indian expressBS Jamod, secretary state election commission, said, “We have not been notified about the withdrawal of notification. Once it is received, a meeting will be called of all officials concerned, including experts, to decide on further course of action." (Representational)

THE MADHYA Pradesh government on Sunday decided to withdraw an Ordinance that amended the Panchayat Act, which effectively nullified the rotation on reservation and delimitation following the Supreme court order staying the poll process on seats reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the panchayat elections. The move is likely to delay the panchayat elections.

“After the Supreme Court’s decision, the state cabinet has decided to request the Governor to withdraw this Ordinance. The delimitation and reservation exercise ordered by the Supreme Court cannot be possible without withdrawing the Ordinance,” said MP Panchayat Minister Mahendra Singh Sisodiya during a press conference after the cabinet meeting.

The cabinet’s move to withdraw the Ordinance is believed to have made way for a stay on panchayat elections.

BS Jamod, secretary state election commission, said, “We have not been notified about the withdrawal of notification. Once it is received, a meeting will be called of all officials concerned, including experts, to decide on further course of action.”

When asked if the state government has approached state election commission with any request to delay the panchayat election, BS Jamod said, “We have not received any communication from the state government in this regard so far.”

On November 21, the state government passed the Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj and Gram Swaraj (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 ahead of panchayat elections. The Ordinance effectively annulled the last rotation on reservation carried out by the Congress government in 2019 and instead, the delimitation, rotation on reservation exercise carried out in 2014 under the BJP regime became effective for the panchayat elections.

Notably, on December 23, Madhya Pradesh unanimously passed a resolution stating that there will be no panchayat polls without Other Backward Class Reservation. The resolution was proposed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan himself who also stated that central government has approached Supreme Court to review their order and had also requested for an early hearing in the matter.

On December 17, the apex court stayed the reservation on OBC seats for the upcoming general elections and directed the state election commission to de-notify these seats as general seats. The SC order came while it was hearing an application filed by Congress leader Manmohan Nagar, who had approached the apex court pleading that the BJP government had violated the Constitutional provision of rotation reservation and delimitation for the panchayat polls.

A day after the SC’s order, the State Election Commission (SEC) had decided to postpone the panchayat election process on the seats reserved for OBCs. Before the SC’s order, a total of 155 posts of members of jila panchayats, 1,273 members of janpad panchayats, 4,058 sarpanchs, and 64,353 posts of panch were reserved for OBCs during this election process.

On December 4, the state election commission announced polling for 859 posts of district panchayats across 52 districts in MP, 6,727 posts under 313 Janpad Panchayats, Sarpanchs of 22,581 village panchayats and 3,62,754 posts of Panch members will be held in three phases – on January 6, January 28 and February 16.

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