Bhubaneswar, Oct 2:
With lawyers in western Odisha calling off their 43-day strike after the state government wrote to the Centre recommending setting up of a permanent bench of the High Court in the region, the state election commission (SEC) has initiated the process to hold polls in the 25 urban local bodies (ULBs), where elections could not be held on September 19 due to the strike, by November end.
In a letter to chief secretary JK Mohapatra, State election commissioner Ajit Tripathy has asked the state government about its preparedness for the polls in western Odisha.
Meanwhile, the Housing and Urban Development department has asked the collectors of nine districts in western Odisha to assess the situation in their districts and inform the department whether polls can be held to urban bodies.
“We will consider all aspects before going to polls. We have asked the district collectors for reports on conducting elections in the 25 ULBs of nine districts,” said departmental minister Devi Prasad Mishra.
The Central Action Committee (CAC) has said it will organize a meeting and discuss the issue.
It is to be noted that the government offices resumed functioning from Tuesday after almost one and a half months due to the prolonged agitations by the lawyers of the region demanding a permanent High Court bench.
However, senior member of the CAC Sureswar Mishra said the agitation will end only after a full-fledged High Court Bench is established in western Odisha.