V. Nagi Reddy, the State Election Commissioner (SEC,) on the 8th of July, announced, the Municipal elections will be held anytime after the 14th of July.
Mr. Reddy said, the Election Commission (EC) is set to conduct the Municipal elections in Telangana.
Mr. Nagi also conducted a meeting with the State political parties and asked for their suggestions regarding the same. He also said, the EC will finalise the wards for the elections on the 14th of July, following which, Telangana can hold the elections anytime.
Speaking about the preparations for the elections, the draft voters’ list is expected to be ready by the 10th of July, whereas the appeals and objections regarding the same will be accepted till the 12th of July.
The final dates of the Municipal elections will be announced 15 days ahead of the elections and the final voters’ list will be released on the 14th of July with their respective wards. The elections will be conducted through ballot papers instead of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs.) According to sources, approximately 800 voters are expected at each polling station.
On the other hand, the parties contesting the Municipal elections will be given their registered symbols. For independent candidates, common symbols will be allocated a few days prior to the elections.
Apart from the above arrangements, the Commission also communicated to the collectors and the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) about the elections.
The opposition party leaders are disappointed with the arrangements and alleged the EC is under pressure of the ruling Government, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS.)
G. Niranjan, a member of the Indian National Congress (INC,) said, “The Commission should not become a puppet in the hands of the government. Why the time is reduced. The elections should be taken up in a transparent manner.”
Ravula Chandrashekar Reddy, another member of the INC, raised an issue related to the release of the voters list. He said, how will people raise objections in such a short time, when the draft list will be released on the 10th of July and the final list will be updated on the 14th of July.
S. Malla Reddy said, “The Government first sought 119 days’ time and now limited the process to 14 days, which is not correct. Without having the voter list, wards delimitation will not be proper. Elections should be taken up as per the affidavit submitted in court.”
The opposition also highlighted the unnecessary expenditure of Rs. 2 lakhs and more for the elections and asked the EC to monitor the expenses as well.
The EC, on the 13th of July, will conduct a meeting regarding the Municipal elections with the officials and the other members concerned with the elections.
Stay tuned for further updates.