The State Election Commission (SEC) has stayed elections to 12,668 gram panchayats in Maharashtra which were to take place later this year, Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif said on Thursday.
The state cabinet has also decided to appoint administrators to gram panchayats where elections could not be held due to the coronavirus outbreak, he informed.
The Maharashtra government had requested the poll panel to defer the elections in view of the coronavirus outbreak, he said in a statement here.
The elections to village local bodies were to be held between July and December, he said.
The election process would have involved campaigning and coming together of people, undermining the efforts to contain the novel coronavirus, he said.
The SEC said it will review the situation from time to time and will take decision about lifting the stay and holding elections after consulting the state government if necessary, Mushrif added.
He also informed that the state cabinet has given its nod to the issuance of an ordinance to appoint administrators to 1,566 gram panchayats whose terms ended after March but fresh polls could not be held due to the pandemic.
A recommendation will be made to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in this connection, the minister added.