Dehradun, Apr 6 (PTI) Backing the Uttarakhand election commission’s accusation that the state government was delaying the civic body polls, noted rights activist Avdhash Kaushal today threatened to move court against the chief minister and the chief secretary if elections were not held on time.

Alleging that the delay in announcement of civic body poll schedule was part of an “evil design” hatched jointly by politicians and bureaucrats, Padmashree awardee Kaushal said his NGO, Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK), would seek legal action if elections to civic bodies were.

The five-year term of the municipal bodies in Uttarakhand ends on May 3 and polling should be held before that date as per provisions of the Indian Constitution.

“According to the 74th Amendment Act (Article 243U), duration of the municipality has been fixed at five years from the date of its appointment. Elections to constitute a municipality are required to be conducted before the expiry of its term.

If the municipality is dissolved before the expiry of five years, the elections for constituting a new municipality are required to be completed within a period of six months from the date of its dissolution,” Kaushal said, citing constitutional provisions.

Quoting a Supreme Court order, he said, “The states concerned cannot be permitted to withhold the elections to panchayats/local bodies except in cases of genuine supervening difficulties to hold such elections, e.g., unforeseen natural calamities in the state like flood, earthquake, etc.” “There is an evil design by the state government to postpone the elections of municipal boards and corporations. This is being done because of bureaucratic and political nexus,” Kaushal alleged.

“This is a clear case of violating the Constitution as well as the Supreme Court’s order. We will file a case against the chief secretary and the chief minister if they do not hold the election in time and RLEK fully supports the Uttarakhand Election Commission,” he said.

The Uttarakhand election commission has already moved the high court accusing the state government of not being serious about holding election to civic bodies on time.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.