The Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) has decided to postpone the counting of votes for ZPTC and MPTC elections scheduled to be held on May 27. If the proposals of the Panchayat Raj department are taken into consideration, the counting of votes is likely to be held on July 3. However, the Commission will notify a fresh date for counting of votes shortly after considering all arrangements.

The decision is learnt to have been taken following representations from various political parties recently expressing concern over a long gap of over 40 days between the date of counting and the date of indirect elections to the posts of chairpersons.

The TSEC held elections to 538 ZPTCs and 5,817 MPTCs in three phases in the State recently and was scheduled to conduct the counting of votes on May 27. However, the term of sitting ZPTCs and MPTCs will expire in July, until which the newly-elected members cannot convene a meeting and elect the chairpersons for Zilla Parishads and Mandal Parishads. Taking up the issue, the political parties expressed apprehensions stating that the long gap is likely to give an opportunity for horse trading and other malpractices, influencing the results of indirect elections to the posts of the chairpersons.

Based on their representations, the TSEC consulted the Panchayat Raj department and sought its view for reducing the time gap between counting of direct elections and date of indirect elections. The Commission also asked the government to make necessary amendment to the Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 2018, to postpone the counting date.

Further, the TSEC has asked the Secretary of Education Department to take necessary action at the strongrooms which are largely located in educational institutions and ensure that storage, as well as security arrangements at the counting centres, are not affected. DGP M Mahender Reddy too has been advised to continue security cover for the strongrooms till the counting is completed. District Collectors have been asked to take necessary action accordingly.

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