Panaji: The schedule for the elections in 50 Zilla Panchayat constituencies – 25 in each district of the state is likely to be announced over the next two days by the State Election Commission (SEC).
However, there is no sign of Directorate of Panchayats (DoP) coming out with the order notifying the reservation of ZP constituencies for the candidates belonging to the different categories.
It is learnt that the file pertaining to the reservations is pending with the ‘government.’
The SEC may issue two different notifications – one notifying the schedule of the elections, and another specifying the period for the model code of conduct.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Panaji, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar claimed that the file pertaining to the reservations of ZP constituencies is with the state BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade and the office-bearers of the ruling party. Chodankar alleged that the BJP is trying to manipulate the reservations and are deliberately delaying the announcement so as to deter the opposition from challenging it before the court.
“ZP polls are coming under SEC, but the state government has not sent the file to the Commission. As per my knowledge, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has sent the file to the BJP headquarters and it is with their party president. BJP has no role in deciding the reservation,” he said.
Welcoming the Supreme Court order that states that the candidates should be based on merit and not winnability, Chodankar said that the Congress will field candidates with a ‘clean image’ for the ZP polls.
“The top court ruling is not applicable for ZP but leaving aside that we will see that high moral ground will be maintained for ZP polls. Our party has always maintained high moral ground. We have a disciplinary committee and we scrutinise such cases before giving the tickets,” the Congress president said.