Meghalaya puts on hold municipal polls again

Posted By: Pti
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Shillong, Jan 17 (PTI) The Meghalaya government hasput on hold the elections for the Jowai Municipal Board,following a court order received belatedly admitting apetition against the polls.

This is the third time in five months that thegovernment had to abandon its plans to hold the first civicpolls in the state.

Municipal Administration Minister Prestone Tyngsongtoday said the government, through its pleader, has received acourt order dated 29 November, 2010.

The order states that the court has restored the casechallenging the municipal elections which it had on August 8last year dismissed.

The Jaintia Tribal Traders Association, in a petitionin 2003, had challenged the government''s move to holdmunicipal elections in Meghalaya, which is a Sixth Scheduledstate.

The Gauhati High Court, sat over it for seven years,and last year in August it had dismissed the petition, theminister said.

However, the court restored the case in November.

"After consulting the law department, we have decidedto put on hold the elections for Jowai Municipal Board tillthe court gives its verdict," Tyngsong said after a cabinetmeeting.

Asked about the delay of two months in receiving thecourt order, the minister said the government said an inquiryhas been proposed into the matter.

Meanwhile, the Jaintia Youth Federation which hascalled a two-day night blockade in Jaintia Hills district fromtoday in protest against the February 15 elections, said itwould go ahead with the agitational programme today but willwithdraw tomorrow.

"We are yet to receive any communication from thegovernment. Once we get it, we will withdraw the agitation," aJYF functionary said.

The night road blockade will be effective from 6.30 pmto 5 am today.

The government had earlier made an attempt to hold thefirst ever civic polls in the state in the four municipalitiesof Garo hills but had to abandon its plans after the electionauthorities were compelled to postpone the polls twice in twomonths since September in the wake of large scale protests.

The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Councilhad also issued a statement opposing the polls and threatenedanyone who cooperated with the government in holding thepolls.

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