All-party meet to discuss local bodies polls in Kerala

August 7th, 2010 - 9:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 7 (IANS) An all-party meet will be held here Aug 12 to discuss the final dates for the local bodies polls in Kerala and how to go about the conduct of elections, official sources said Saturday.
The decision of the State Election Commission came after it surfaced that elections to six district panchayats (councils), 14 block panchayats and two gram panchayats will not be held following a court verdict cancelling the ward delimitation in them.

The all-party meeting has two options — to delay the polls which should have been held in September or hold the elections to these panchayats in the second phase.

The opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front convenor P.P. Thankachen blamed Local Self Government Minister Paloly Mohammed Kutty for this fiasco.

“For long, we have been asking the government to act and they were sitting silent. Now what we feared has become clear,” Thankachen told reporters after hearing about the meeting.

In the recently-concluded state assembly session, the opposition blamed the Left government for delay in going ahead with the local bodies polls.

Kerala Congress (Mani) supremo K.M. Mani said: “All that we said about the government’s role in playing truant in the conduct of the local bodies polls has come true.”

“They did the ward delimitation in a fraudulent manner. The government is solely responsible for this,” he added.

Elections have to be held to fill up close to 22,000 seats in the three-tier local body structure in the state.

Kutty, who is now in Hyderabad for the Communist Party of India-Marxist meeting, said they are prepared to hold the elections in one stage.

The Congress is adamant that the elections should be held in one stage.

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