Court directs EC to hold by-polls in Telangana

Hyderabad, June 30: The Andhra Pradesh High Court today directed the Election Commission (EC) to hold by- elections to Vemulawada and Sircilla Assembly constituencies in Karimnagar district along with other 10 seats in the state going to the bypolls next month.

A Division Bench comprising Justices V V S Rao and Vilas Afzalpurkar allowed a writ petition in this connection filed by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). The sub-regional party had questioned the EC’s decision to withhold bypolls in these two constituencies.

The Bench observed that the reason given by the EC, that two election petitions concerning the Assembly segments are pending, was “unsustainable”. The Judges said the poll panel was bound to hold by-elections within six months after the respective seats are notified as vacancies by the Speaker.

“Public mandate cannot be kept aside on unsustainable grounds,” the Bench noted.

On June 21, EC had set July 27 for bypolls to 10 Assembly seats in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. Though there are 12 vacancies, petitions are pending with regard to two seats, Vemulawada and Sircilla, as the petitioners have sought to be declared elected, the EC had said.

Terming the EC’s decision not to hold bypolls in these constituencies as against the spirit of Constitution, TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao had earlier said they will move the court against the poll panel’s move.