Odisha

High Court Directs Govt To Conduct ZP Polls At Chitrakonda I & II Zones

**Cuttack:** Orissa High Court on Monday vacated the stay and directed State Government to conduct Zilla Parishad (ZP) elections at Chitrakonda I & II zones in Malkangiri district of south Odisha.

Even though the State Election Commission conducted the three-tier Panchayat polls this year in February and results have already been out, including the elections of block chairpersons, vice-chairpersons, ZP presidents and vice-presidents, Maoist-infested Chitrakonda block of Malkangiri district had got stalled due to threats by the left wing extremists. Thus, election process for the two Zilla Parishad zones there had got disrupted.

Orissa High Court senior lawyer Pitamber Acharya informed media, “The High Court had earlier stayed the election to the post of Malkangiri Zilla Parishad president. Today’s verdict has paved path for the election to the post. The petitioner had appealed the High Court to cancel the Malkangiri Zilla Parishad elections as the polls for Chitrakonda Zilla Parishad zones I and II could not be held then. Later, the court heard the Election Commission’s pleas. The Election Commission pleaded that it is statutory to hold the election as the earlier five-year tenure of Zilla Parishad had already expired on March 12. It was also pleaded that there is no legal bar to hold such Zilla Parishad president election if there had been no election to some seats due to certain reasons. Hence, the court has agreed to hold the president election.”

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