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Patna, June 1 : The Bihar government has decided to delay the Panchayat elections in the state due to the Covid outbreak. The tenure of Panchayat representatives in Bihar ended on June 15 this year.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the state cabinet led by Chief Minister Nititish Kumar on Tuesday.
Nitish Kumar has already hinted at no extension to tenure of Panchayat representatives despite his alliance partners BJP, and the opposition favouring the extension.
The Nitish Kumar government came up with an optional method to constitute similar Panchayat bodies which will work until election.
Samrat Chaudhary, the Panchayati Raj minister of Bihar said: “We will constitute Panchayat Samiti, Panchayat Court, suggestion committee in district council etc to continue in absence of elected members of Panchayat.
“The state government will not organize the elections of Panchayat in near future amid severe corona infection.”
Sources have said that Nitish Kumar tactically took such a decision after the severe second wave of corona hit the state. The health infrastructure of Bihar completely collapsed during the period. As a result, a large number of people lost their lives due to deadly infection.
“Contesting the election after a dismal performance may hurt Nitish Kumar’s fortune. He may badly lose the elections as was seen in Uttar Pradesh, where BJP did not find much support. Hence, he has decided to avoid the election on scheduled time,” RK Srivastava, political expert based in Patna.
The Nitish Kumar government has amended sections 14, 39,, 66 and 92 of Panchayati Raj act 2006 to provide additional power to current representatives of Panchayat.
Sources have said that the current Panchayat representatives and officials of civil administration will jointly operate Panchayat Samiti, Panchayat court suggestion Samiti of district council.
IANS / AGENCY