The TRS leadership believes that the winds are blowing in its favour and it is the best time to make most of the people’s support to the party. The dictum ‘strike while the iron is hot’ is well known.

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which is confident of retaining power in the State, is making plans to go for the gram panchayat elections within a fortnight of forming the government. The TRS leadership believes that the winds are blowing in its favour and it is the best time to make most of the people’s support to the party.

The High Court had already delivered its verdict in October this year, making it mandatory for the State Election Commission (SEC) to hold the gram panchayat elections within three months, i.e. by January 2019. However, the Hyderabad High Court allowed the State to continue the special officers till then.

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“Considering the high voter turnout of about 73.2 per cent, we are confident that people gave a clear mandate in favour of TRS. They understood the wrong motives behind the unholy alliance between the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party, and voted for TRS. To ensure that people repeat the same verdict, we are planning to go for the gram panchayat elections by this year end,” a Minister told #KhabarLive.

The TRS leaders also stated that the party activists were also in an upbeat mood and were raring to go for the local body elections as well, prompting the party leadership to take necessary measures in this regard. They stated that less than a fortnight after forming the government, the SEC may issue notification for the gram panchayat polls and results will be declared before the deadline fixed by the High Court.

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The term of elected representatives of about 8,786 gram panchayats had concluded on July 31. The State government appointed special officers to take care of their day-to-day activities. Further, the number of gram panchayats also has been increased to 12,751 through creation of 3,965 new gram panchayats, which came into existence from August 2. Of the total new gram panchayats, 1,177 tribal hamlets have been upgraded to panchayats.

Adding credence to the rumours, the State government on Friday withdrew its plea to increase reservation quota for Backward Classes (BCs), SCs and STs in the Panchayat Raj and other local bodies. The State government sought permission to accord 34 per cent reservations for BCs, 24 per cent to SCs and 9 per cent to STs in the ensuing gram panchayat elections and other local body elections, taking the total quota to 67 per cent in proportion to the population ratio of BCs, SCs and STs in the State.

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However, the Supreme Court refused to allow the State to enhance the quota beyond 50 per cent fixed by the Apex Court earlier. Now, the State Election Commission (SEC) may have no other option but to conduct the gram panchayat elections as per the existing reservation quota. The SEC is learnt to have already commenced the necessary exercises in this regard. #KhabarLive