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MLAS, ministers threat to boycott Puducherry local polls

 
Puducherry, Oct 10 (IANS) All the legislators and ministers of Puducherry have threatened to boycott the local body elections if the reservation anomalies, including reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes are not cleared.

The Puducherry State Election Commission has announced revised dates to conduct elections on November 2, 7 and 13.

All the political parties met Lieutenant Governor Dr. Tamilisai Sounderarajan on Saturday and informed her that they would be forced to boycott the elections if the anomalies, including reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes are not cleared.

The Commission had earlier announced the dates of polls on October 21, 25 and 28 and there were anomalies regarding reservations for SC/ST and Backward Castes.

The Madras High Court had allowed the cancellation of the notification after the State Election commission had prayed before it to rescind the earlier notification dated September 22. The court directed the commission to issue a fresh notification within five days of cancellation of the notification.

The political parties are of the contention that the elections cannot be held without providing reservation to Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes.

A group of legislators, including ministers led by the Puducherry Assembly Speaker, R. Selvam met the Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Sounderrajan and apprised her of the anomalies in no reservation for STs and BCs.

The legislators complained that the announcement of the polls and notification without providing reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes was a violation of the guidelines of the High court and Supreme Court.

The reservation rights of the Backward Classes and Scheduled Tribes were removed by the government to correct the anomalies, but the State Election Commission had made the election announcement in a hurry, the political parties pointed out.

A resolution was adopted that the elections should not be completed without providing reservations to the Backward Classes and Scheduled Tribes as per the Puducherry Municipalities and Commune Panchayat Act. The resolution also stated reservation to seats has to be done based on the delimitation of the wards done on the 2011 census.

The political parties have also complained to the Lieutenant Governor that the State Election Commission had not taken into account the upcoming holiday including Deepavali, All Souls Day, Liberation Day, and the rainy season while announcing the polls, the legislators said.

All the ministers and legislators participated in the meeting and informed the Lieutenant Governor that they would be forced to boycott the polls if anomalies are not rectified.

--IANS
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