In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Haryana State government is not planning to conduct the Gram Panchayat elections anytime soon and may consider conducting the polls at the beginning of the next year-January-February, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said on Tuesday.
"Due to the on-going Corona Pandemic, for now, there is no plan to conduct Gram Panchayat elections in Haryana. State Government may consider conducting Gram Panchayat elections in the month of January-February in the year 2021 after the completion of five-year tenure of present Gram Panchayat, provided that COVID-19 situation is under control", Chautala said.
The Deputy Chief Minister further said the old panchayats will continue to execute their works in the state and there will be no obstruction in the workings of Sarpanches.
"As per the amended Panchayati Raj Act, 2020, five-year tenure of Gram Panchayats in the State will start from the day when State Election Commission will issue a notification of the formation of newly elected Panchayat, which means that entire Panchayat along with Sarpanch and Panches will continue to function till the day the announcement for the upcoming Gram Panchayat elections is made", Chautala said.
Chautala also said that "Before the completion of five-year tenure from the date of notification of the formation of Panchayat, neither the charge would be taken back from Sarpanches, nor the Panchayats will get dissolved."
When asked about the ongoing discussions about the e-tendering in Panchayat works, Chautala clarified that no such orders have been issued by the Panchayat Department. Among the 11 portfolios, the Minister also holds the portfolio of Development and Panchayat Department.
"Like the previous system, Gram Panchayats are authorized to carry out developmental works up to Rs. 20 lakh without any e-tendering," Chautala said.
Haryana health authorities on Tuesday reported four more coronavirus deaths as the number of infections in the state rose to 14,548 with 338 fresh cases. The worst-hit Faridabad and Gurgaon reported two and one deaths, respectively. One person died from the infection in Palwal, according to the state health department's daily bulletin. The state has so far reported 236 deaths. The bulletin said currently there are 4,340 active cases in the state. As many as 9,972 people have been discharged from hospitals after treatment. The state's recovery rate on Tuesday was 68.55 per cent.
(With inputs from ANI)