A single-judge bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court yesterday put the state's Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (MPTC) and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) elections, earlier to be held on April 8, on hold till further notice.
Justice U Durga Prasad Rao had reportedly issued the orders after the BJP and the JSP alleged that the April 1 notification of the SEC, resuming an electoral process deferred since March 2020, had been hastily released, in clear violation of the Supreme Court verdict that stipulated a four-week enforcement period of the model code of conduct ahead of any election.
Justice Rao had then faulted the SEC for not adhering to the directives, and for failing to enforce the Model Code of Conduct four weeks prior to the day of polling. He directed the election body to submit a sworn affidavit by April 15 stating that it would abide by the procedures stipulated by the Supreme Court regarding election-time conduct, and that it would also hold the elections in adherence to the same.
However, a division bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court today discarded the orders, and said that the MPTC and ZPTC elections would now be held as per schedule tomorrow, on April 8.
The new orders came after the newly appointed State Election Commissioner, Nilam Sawhney, filed an appeal against the interim stay order passed by Justice Rao.
The election notification has catalysed much drama in AP, and even caused TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu to announce that his party would be boycotting the "undemocratic" ZPTC and MPTC elections