The deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to the postponement of the upcoming local body elections in Andhra Pradesh.
The State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar today announced that the elections for the MPTCs/ZPTCs, municipal corporations and panchayats were being postponed by 6 weeks for now in view of the impact of the virus in the state and the country.
The SEC said that since the Centre had declared a national emergency over the virus and with WHO also declaring the virus as a global pandemic, the elections had been postponed keeping the public health in mind.
The SEC had exercised its plenary powers under Articles 243K and 243 ZA of the Indian Constitution to put a hold on the election process, Kumar said. This decision was taken after a high-level review meeting was conducted earlier, he added.
The Commissioner also quoted the Supreme Court judgement of 2006 in the Kishan Singh Tomar vs Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad case, and said that elections could be postponed under exceptional circumstances till normalcy was restored.
This notice would come into immediate effect for a period of six weeks or till the spread of COVID-19 was arrested or declined and normalcy was restored, facilitating public gatherings, he said.
He also said that the election procedure which had happened till now would hold good, and that the Model Code of Conduct would continue during the 6-week period. He asserted that this was only a pause of the election process and not a complete cancellation.
The new election date schedule will be released later after a review meeting after six weeks.
filed in:Health, Coronavirus, Diseases, Epidemics, Elections, Local Body Elections, Municipal Bodies