SEC issues gazette notification for voters list for civic polls

Chennai: Hinting that the local body elections in the State would be announced soon, the Tamilnadu State Election Commission today released in gazette the guidelines for preparing the electoral list for the civic polls.

The rules that should be followed in allotting the polling booths, preparing the draft electoral roll and finalising it was also mentioned in the gazette notification.

The newly-delimited wards across the State were notified in the government gazette 15 December 2018. The Delimitation Commission had undertaken the exercise of identifying the wards to be reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women candidates, the court was informed earlier this year.

On 4 May, the Tamilnadu government submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that it is not possible to conduct the local body elections now.

In the affidavit, the government had said since the Lok Sabha polls are happening it is not possible to get the electoral rolls from the Election Commission of India and verify it as the officials were busy with the elections.

“The Election Commission has explained the reasons for delay in the notifications of local body elections to the time lost in getting the soft copies of the current Electoral Roll from ECI for handing over to National Informatics Centre and due to non-availability of the district administration machinery as the same is now involved in the electoral process for the Parliamentary elections,” it was stated in the affidavit.

The government also argued that the absence of the councillors did not affect the development works as alternate arrangements were made.

“In the absence of elected representatives in the rural local bodies at present, by invoking the relevant statutory provisions in the Tamilnadu Panchayats Act 1994, the government have appointed Block Development Officers as special officers of village panchayats for uninterrupted discharge of civic maintenance responsibilities,” the affidavit mentioned.

The SEC in January said the civic polls will be conducted by the last week of May. However, it may be noted that poll body recently sought three more months time to conduct civic polls in Tamilnadu.
Posts in local bodies in the State have been lying vacant since 24 October 2016.

NT Bureau