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Supreme Court directs Madhya Pradesh to conduct local body elections

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The Supreme Court on Monday directed the State Election Commission of Madhya Pradesh to conduct the local body polls on around 23,000 seats.

A Bench, led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, passed the order The Supreme Court passed the order on a petition related to pending local body elections in the states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Issuing an interim direction to MPSEC for notifying the election programme for local body elections within two weeks, without the OBC reservation, the Apex Court observed that the process of delimitation and triple test compliance was time-consuming and complex, but the conduct of elections was explicitly provided for.

The Bench noted that the Other Backward Classes parties have been allowed to freely nominate the OBC candidates for General Category Seats.

The Court order said that people must be governed by the newly-elected representatives, and there was no provision for OBC as of now.

Tagging both the matters together for further hearing, the Supreme Court said that newly-elected members should be conducted in all bodies before the period of five years and that the incumbents cannot continue beyond six months beyond tenure.

As per the Court, after the exercises are completed, future polls can be conducted.

The Bench directed the MPSEC to notify the polls well in time, else it would defeat the Constitutional mandate and go against the local body governance.

It further said that such exercises should not stall the due polls, else it would create hiatus.

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