Is there a stay on Municipal Corporation polls in Gujarat?


State Election Commissioner of Gujarat Shri Varesh Sinha yesterday announced the dates of elections for 6 municipal corporations in Gujarat. When asked by media persons whether there was a stay on holding elections in six municipal corporations, Shri Sinha replied that legal experts had went through the court order and there was no stay on holding elections.

On the other hand the Congress party leader Narendra Ravat said there’s stay on holding civic elections and he would approach Supreme Court over announcement of elections of municipal corporation.

So if there a stay on holding elections for 6 municipal corporations in Gujarat by the Supreme Court? Well here is the order of Supreme Court dated 4 September 2015 in response to a plea filed by Congress leader Narendra Ravat’s aides with Kapil Sibal as their lawyer.

It reads, “There shall be interim stay of the operation of the impugned judgement of the High Court, in the meanwhile.”

Now here is the High Court order, the Supreme Court refers to in its order above.

The details of the case, the Gujarat High Court refers to in its judgement can be found here

Worth noting that conventionally, municipal corporation elections are held first in Gujarat, and later district/taluka panchayat and nagarpalika(municipality) polls are conducted.

Congress believes that BJP has good support in urban Gujarat and therefore the results of Municipal Corporation polls affect the voters in panchayat/nagarpalika polls.

The Congress party motivated applicants therefore challenged the municipal corporation polls in the Supreme court seeking not four but one candidate per ward, but at the same time Congress party pressured the election commission to hold panchayat polls as per schedule.

As what was believed the Supreme Court’s stay on Municipal Corporation election procedure, the announcement of municipal corporation polls delayed. But Congress demanded timely panchayat/nagarpalika polls.

Hitting back, the BJP through an ordinance made it possible for election commission to delay the panchayat polls. The state election commission delayed all local body polls citing law and order situation.

Congress workers went to Gujarat High Court against delay in holding panchayat polls.

After the High Court order in favor of petitioners, the state election commission yesterday announced poll schedule of Municipal Corporations and Panchayats both. As per conventional practice, Municipal Corporation polls will be held first, and panchayat polls will be conducted after the results of Municipal Corporation polls. The state election commission argues that voters are different in both elections.

Now Congress is mulling to approach the Supreme Court opposing the announcement of municipal corporation polls by the state election commission.

– DeshGujarat

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