February 19, 2021 4:34:12 am
With BJP suffering huge setback in Punjab civic body polls following intense farmer stir, the panchayat polls are likely to get delayed in neighbouring Haryana. The tenure of current panchayats is ending on February 23.
“As per the rules, the polls can be held even 15 days after end of the tenure of panchayat bodies. It means the polls can be held till March 10. But we need at least 20-22 days to hold the polls,” said a senior officer of state election commission.
On their part, the government officials say the elections are getting delayed because of ongoing delimitation process in 200 new village panchayats. However, earlier the alliance leaders were showing keenness to hold the elections early while making statements publicly.
Now, it is believed, the BJP-JJP government doesn’t want to take risk to hold the election at a time when the agitator farmers have made movement of alliance leaders in the state difficult particularly for the public meetings. Further, BJP leaders have witnessed stiff opposition even during the civic body polls in Punjab. Now, the results of civic body polls announced Wednesday may further discourage the BJP-JJP leaders to hold the panchayat polls immediately.
“It’s true that normally panchayat polls are not contested by the mainstream parties on symbol in Haryana but active supporters and local leaders contest the elections with the support of their respective parties. The panchayat elections in the current scenario especially after Punjab civic body poll results won’t suit the leaders of ruling alliance in Haryana as there are sentiments against them because of three farm laws,” says a panchayat body representative from Fatehabad district.
“The ruling party always try to get elected its supporters as chief of Zila Parishads and block level Panchayat Samitis but in the current circumstances the leaders of BJP-JJP are facing major protests. In the local politics, even the election for the posts of sarpanch is important because they ensure welcome of the senior political leaders and provide stage for them whenever they reach the villages,” he added requesting anonymity.
However, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala told The Indian Express the farmer agitation is not one among the reasons behind the delay in holding panchayat polls while citing the delimitation process in 200 village panchayats.
“I hope for early polls as soon as the process of delimitation completes. We have already written to the state election commission to keep the preparations ready to hold the elections,” says Chautala, who also holds panchayat portfolio.
Ve dare hua hain: Selja
When asked about delay, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja said the BJP-JJP alliance doesn’t want to hold the right the elections now as they are afraid. “Ve dare hua hain (The BJP-JJP alliance is afraid.). The farming community has stood up against the BJP-JJP government in Haryana and BJP government at Centre. The ministers can’t even enter villages in Haryana. Even the people in urban areas are upset,” Selja said.
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