Bhopal, Dec 5 (IANS): A day after the Madhya Pradesh Election Commission announced the dates for three-tier Panchayat elections in the state in three phases between January 6 and February 16, 2022, the state unit of the Congress on Sunday lashed out at the ruling BJP government accusing it of not following the Constitutional rules in the process.
The Congress said the state government was not following the mandatory constitutional rules of change in the rotation in reservation of seats after every five years of tenure.
Sharpening its attack, the Congress raised questions as to why panchayat elections are being held in 2021-22 on the basis of reservation of 2014?
Voicing its concern on this issue, the Congress accused the BJP of not complying with a set of rules suppressing the democratic rights of the citizens of the state.
"We have been demanding that Panchayat elections in the state should be held as soon as possible, but it seems the government is scared of these elections and it does not want to conduct elections," former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and state Congress chief Kamal Nath said.
Maintaining that the fresh elections should be held under the new reservation and rotation policy of seats, the Congress is all set to knock the door of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday.
Talking to IANS, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha said: "Many individuals have already opposed the state government's move. Conducting elections without following rotation in reservation is completely against the Constitutional rights of the individuals. Many individuals have already filed petitions at different benches of the High Court and by Monday a fresh petition on the same will be filed before the Jabalpur High Court bench."
"Panchayat elections in MP are being conducted under strange legal circumstances by completely ignoring the constitution process and provision, the ordinance passed by the state government was a threat to the public," Tankha added.
Veteran Congress leader and two-time MP chief minister Digvijaya Singh was the first who voiced his concern on this matter soon after the elections schedule was announced on Saturday. The elections for the Panchayat bodies in the state have been pending since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Polling for 859 posts of district panchayats across 52 districts, 6,727 posts of 313 Janpad Panchayats, Sarpanch of 22,581 village panchayats and 3,62,754 posts of Panch members will be held in three phases.
In the first phase, 6,283 village panchayats and 85 Janpad Panchayats across nine districts will go for the polls on January 6, 2022. The elections for 110 Janpad Panchayats and 8,015 village Panchayats across seven districts will be conducted in the second phase on January 28. The third phase of the polling for 8,397 village panchayats and 118 Janpad panchayats across 36 districts will be held on February 16, Singh said.
The process of filing nominations for the first and second phases will commence from December 13.
As per the state Election Commission, around 15,863 booths have been categorised as "sensitive" while 6,233 are identified as "very sensitive", Singh said.
In 2015, polls for 3,91,066 posts at different levels of the panchayat system were held and the tenure of these elected representatives ended in March 2020. Elections for 114 village panchayats whose tenure is to end after March 2022 will be held separately.