Oppn in Goa slams rescheduling of municipal poll dates

National | Written by : IANS| Updated:

Oppn in Goa slams rescheduling of municipal poll dates

Panaji, March 5 (IANS) The opposition in Goa has slammed the State Election Commissioner for rescheduling the dates for polls in five municipal council areas, even as the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its judgement on the matter on March 9.

The criticism came a day after the poll panel issued a fresh schedule for the elections to the five municipal councils, which will now be held on March 21.

"The Supreme Court has fixed the hearing on Tuesday (March 9). Heavens will not fall if the State Election Commission shows some patience and waits for the final order of the apex court," Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said on Friday.

"I demand that the SEC must wait till the final disposal of the matter by the apex court and should not act in haste under any pressure," Kamat added.

Polls to 11 municipal councils and one municipal corporation were scheduled to be held on March 20. However, amid accusations of haphazard reservation of wards for women and ST candidates, the Bombay High Court bench had postponed the elections to five municipal councils, namely Margao, Mapusa, Mormugao, Sanguem and Quepem, while directing the Goa government to conduct a fresh procedure for reservation of seats.

The Goa government had subsequently appealed against the HC order in the Supreme Court, which on Thursday stayed the HC order postponing the polls in the five municipalities until a final order is delivered on March 9.

Opposition Goa Forward Party president Vijay Sardesai also said that the SEC's decision to change the poll schedule at a time when the matter is being heard by the apex court amounted to overreach on part of the authority.

"The SC temporarily stayed the HC direction for completion of pleadings. The SEC could not have over-reached the SC order by announcing an altogether new schedule when the top court seized of the matter," Sardesai said.