Andhra HC clears deck for MPTC, ZPTC polls

Amaravati, April 7 (IANS) A day after a single judge bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court stayed the MPTC and ZPTC polls, a larger bench srtuck off that order on Wednesday, paving the way for conducting the polls as scheduled on Thursday.

On Monday, high court judge Upmaka Durgaprasada Rao had stalled the polls for not giving four weeks’ prior time and mandated new State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nilam Sawhney to file an affidavit by April 15.

With Rao’s order overturned now, polling for the 7,220 Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTCs) and 515 Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTCs) will happen as usual on Thursday.

However, the court has mandated that counting of votes should not be undertaken until further directives.

Advocate General (AG) Sriram argued the case on behalf of the state government, resulting in a favourable order for it considering that the government is eager to finish all the elections and focus on the task of Coronavirus vaccination.

On behalf of the State Election Commission (SEC), advocate C.V. Mohan Reddy argued that the 28-day or four-week prior time before issuing the MPTC and ZPTC poll notification is not necessary.

After listening to the arguments both in favour and against the polls, the court gave its green signal.

The verdict came as a blow to the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janasena, all of which had petitioned against the polls.