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SEC learns of panchayat poll date after govt announcement

Panjim: A day after the Panchayat elections date was announced, Goa State Election Commissioner R K Srivastava acknowledged that the date was not in consonance with the commission’s proposal.
Speaking to a delegation of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee which presented a memorandum requesting not to hold the elections in June, Srivastava said, “We just learnt this morning that the dates have been announced. We had proposed 21 May. Since the matter is subjudice, the government will have to explain to the court.”Stating that deciding the date is the prerogative of the government as per the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, he further said, “We gave a proposal but they have not agreed and decided the date.”
Srivastava said that the superintendence, direction and control of holding the elections vests entirely with the Commission as per the Constitution. “But here the Panchayati Raj Act has given some powers to the government to decide the dates to hold the elections and that has been challenged in the High Court through a PIL,” he added.GPCC President Luizinho Faleiro in his letter to the Commission has demanded that the elections to the village governing bodies be held in May and not be postponed to June as announced by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday.Faleiro said, “June also marks the beginning of the monsoons and the farmers are busy in their farming activities making it difficult for the voters to participate in the election process.”Meanwhile, the GPCC Executive Committee on Thursday decided to file four disqualification petitions against its former Valpoi MLA Vishwajit Rane. [H]

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