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Rajasthan HC rejects govt’s plea to postpone civic polls

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The Rajasthan High Court has rejected the plea of the state government to postpone the civic elections in the state. The elections in six municipal corporations will now have to be conducted by October 31.

The Rajasthan government made a plea to postpone the elections till March 31 next year. The elections are due in the six municipal corporations that include the civic bodies in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota.

Rajasthan govt sought postponement due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Rajasthan government had cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason behind seeking a postponement. But the high court bench rejected the Rajasthan government’s plea.

Earlier, the Rajasthan High Court in July had given time to the state government to conduct the elections by October 31. This was done at the request of the state government.

The elections were due in April this year, but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Panchayat elections held

The election commission said when panchayat elections could be held, what was wrong with the civic polls.

Also Read: Rajasthan govt to resort to Gandhigiri to promote masks, social distancing

It said that 84 per cent of people turned out to vote in the panchayat poll braving coronavirus. So, there was no reason for postponing the civic polls?

Elected bodies of municipal corporations dissolved in 2019

The elected bodies of the municipal corporations were dissolved last year. The elections were to be held last year. But no dates were announced by the government following which a PIL was filed. The Rajasthan high court asked the government to hold elections within six months. The state government in March this year sought six-week time till May 31 to hold the elections.

But even before May 31, the state government moved a petition seeking permission to hold the election by August.

Need for dividing the city into two municipal corporations

The municipal corporations of Jaipur, Kota and Jodhpur were reconstituted with additional municipal corporations for each city.

According to Shanti Dhariwal, the urban development minister, each city with a high population required effective civic services to be rendered to the people. It was then decided to divide the old city and the new city that has come up in recent years. The formation of more than one municipal corporation has been adopted by several states successfully.

In Jaipur, the city has been divided as a heritage city and the new city. The heritage city is the walled part under which several historical monuments are there. Thus, such heritage municipal corporation needs different building byelaws. Thus the heritage municipal corporation will have a different municipal rule that has been framed with the sole intention to cater to the needs of the old city. A similar division has been made for Kota and Jodhpur.

 

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