Bhubaneswar: The three-tier panchayat elections in Odisha scheduled for February 2022 are likely to get delayed due to inordinate hold-up in completion of the ward delimitation and reservation works by the State government.
“We have written to the State government multiple times asking it to complete the delimitation and reservation process for the conduct of rural polls as per schedule. But, the government has not yet commenced the works raising apprehension of a delayed elections this time," secretary to the State Election Commission said.
The Commission would prepare groundwork for the polls once the two important works get over, he added.
The tenure of elected representatives at all rural bodies across the State will end on March 10, 2022. So, the delimitation and reservation works should complete before the polls, he added.
According to reports, the Commission had written to the government thrice to complete the formalities.
As per Supreme Court order, the State should ensure 50 per cent reservation of seats in the panchayat elections.
The reservation of seats was more than 50 per cent during the rural polls last time, which was a gross violation of the order of the apex court.
Elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) could not be conducted due to same issue as the State could not finalise the reservation of seats in adherence to the apex court order.
The Commission had shot off two letters to the State government in January 2021, directing it to complete the delimitation and reservation process and submitted a report. The poll body had again sent a reminder in March. However, the State is yet to carry out the exercise.
Although the government has not yet clarified regarding reason of delay, it is said that ongoing pandemic has come in the way of completing the activities.