“Constitutional crisis” feared by AAAPP may be a reality


By A O News Service

ITANAGAR | May 30 | With the failure to hold elections to PRI in the state, the “Constitutional crisis” as warned by state election commissioner (SEC) is likely to be a reality on Thursday.

Arunachal Pradesh Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Act, 2018 was passed by assembly in March last to end three-tier Panchaayati Raj Institution (PRI) by removing the middle level anchal samitis. The amendment postponed the PRI elections proposed by May 29.

However, state election commissioner Hage Kojeen in Apri last had said that several reminders were sent by the SEC to the GoAP regarding holding the elections.

The Indian Constitution has no provision for extension of PRI terms. The SEC has been critical of the GoAP for its alleged unwillingness to speed up the process to conduct polls to two-tier bodies and municipals.

A letter written to the governor reportedly by the SEC alleged that the GoAP has not sanctioned Rs 21.27 crore needed to hold panchayat and municipal polls. The SEC had earlier warned during a press conference that if the amendment to the Act was not approved and elections not held before May 31, the state could face a “constitutional crisis”. That would turn into a reality on Thursday.

A notification issued today by chief secretary said that “framing of above rules will take considerable time, which may affect timely conduct of next PRI elections”. Thus, the notification following provisions of Amended Act divested elected leaders at rural levels of their powers and placed them in the hands of the district level interim committees till polls are held.

The DC, according to arrangement, will head the temporary district committee as chairperson and the ADC as member secretary while DPOs, MPs, and MLAs will be members. The DC will also co-opt three to five prominent persons, including a woman, of the district as members.

The rest of the members will be composed of district-level officials and ex-officio chairpersons of gram panchayats. At the GP level, an interim committee will be formed comprising of an EAC or CO as chairperson while HGBs and GBs will serve as members. The BDO will be member-secretary and block level officers as members. The chairperson will select two more members, least one woman, from the district. No date has been finalized for holding panchayat polls till now.

It would be worth mentioning here that All Arunachal Pradesh Panchayati Parishad president Sushil Nalo and secretary general Sangha Tagik have been apprehending on similar line and have moved the court whose hearing has been fixed on June 4 next.

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