State poll panel chief seeks more powers

State poll panel chief seeks more powers

Election Commissioner of Karnataka C R Chikkamath, on Saturday said the State government is being unresponsive to his requests for powers equivalent of the Chief Election Commissioner of India to ensure smooth functioning of democratic institutions.

Addressing a gathering at Town Hall in Bangalore on the occasion of National Voters’ Day, he said, “The State election commission has been conferred with powers to hold elections for the posts of chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of local bodies, but the government is not permitting us to exercise them.”

‘Litigations delayed’

“Last year, elections were held for 208 local bodies, but only 88 individuals have been appointed chairpersons and deputy chairpersons. Although all 208 positions should have been filled within a month after elections,
litigations over alleged violations of reservation policies have delayed the process,”
Chikkamath said.

Pointing out that the 73rd and 74th amendments in the Constitution have given more powers to the State Election Commission, he added, “In the Kishan Singh Tomar case, the apex court had made it clear that the State election commissions have enough powers.

It is up to the State government to allow the State election commission to function freely.”

Governor H R Bhardwaj extended his support to State Election Commissioner Chikkamath by assuring him that he would convey his concerns to the State government.

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