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Political compulsions behind delay in panchayat polls?

21st April 2017, 06:47 Hrs

What prompted the decision of the state government to postpone the panchayat elections in the state from May to June despite the State Election Commission proposing the date of May 21.



the goan I network
PANAJI   

As shocked as the State Election Commissioner R K Srivastava sounded on Thursday after claiming that he heard of the State’s government’s decision via the news media, questions of the government’s intentions have begun to circle.   
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who announced the government’s decision said the move was being made with a view to allow the state as a whole to have a breather after recovering from the recent election.   
“Almost 10% of the state’s population will be out of the state,” Parrikar said trying to guesstimate figures to prove his reasoning that a large bulk of the state is on leave during this time.  However, besides the reasons offered by political parties including could there be political thinking behind the decision?   
Political analysts have suggested that though, panchayat elections are not held on party lines, the BJP could be wary of not only the anti-incumbency wave that reduced its numbers from 21 to 13 in the first place but also a political backlash against the manner in which it has formed its government.   
“Within the BJP there continue to be several BJP MLAs who are disgruntled after having been asked to ‘sacrifice’ in favour of the alliance partners. The BJP wants that these MLAs regain their enthusiasm before the panchayat polls,” sources within the BJP have said.   
A testimony to the fact is the mood at the ‘felicitation’ of BJP national president Amit Shah, where the crowd cheered more for individual MLAs and new inductees than they did when Shah arrived on the stage testified that there isn’t popular love for party but only for individual MLAs.   
“With the election dust settling and the govt securing time to ensure that funds start moving to the grassroots, will help the government gain positive PR from the move besides also help reenergizing their grassroot leaders,” an opposition political leader not wishing to be named said.   
The fact that the monsoons could be well and truly set in by that time possibly lowering the turnout could also have crossed government’s mind.   
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