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Allahabad HC Directs UP Poll Panel to Hold UP Panchayat Elections By April 30

File photo of a panchayat.

File photo of a panchayat.

The court rejected the UP Election Commission's proposal to hold the elections by May.

Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday, in relation to the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Elections 2021, has directed the state government and the UP poll panel to complete reservation by March 17 and conduct the polls by April 30. The court said that the elections of the district panchayat president and the block chief should be conducted by May 15.

While hearing the petition of Vinod Upadhyay, the division bench of Justice MN Bhandari and Justice RR Agrawal sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh Election Commission.

The poll panel had presented a tentative schedule to the high court on Wednesday and had sought a response from the state government. In the schedule the UP poll panel had proposed for the election to be held in May.

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On this, the high court clearly said that the proposal for holding panchayat elections in May cannot be accepted at first sight. The court said that as per the rules, elections were to be completed by January 13, 2021 and rejected the schedule as contrary to constitutional provisions.

In its schedule, the UP poll panel told the high court that the voters list for the panchayat elections was been prepared on January 22. It said the work of delimitation was also completed by 28 January. But the reservation of seats had to be finalised by the state government and hence the election program has not been released till now, the EC said. The panel also told court that after completion of reservation of seats, the election will take 45 days.

The high court has ordered the formation of indirect or all panchayats by May 15. The petitioner filed the application for not completing the panchayat elections till January 13. The petition said not completing the process of panchayat elections within five years was said to be a violation of article 243 (e). The government had cited the Covid-19 pandemic not being able to complete the panchayat elections due to COVID.

Advocate General Raghavendra Singh and Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal presented the government's side. Advocate Pankaj Kumar Shukla presented the case on behalf of the petitioner.