Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to hold by-elections to two assembly seats in Telangana along with 10 other seats going to polls July 27.
The court passed the orders on a petition by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) challenging the decision of the Election Commission not to hold by-polls to Sircilla and Vemulawada assembly constituencies in view of some election petitions pending in the court.
The Election Commission on June 21 announced an election schedule for 10 assembly seats but not in these two seats.
The TRS general secretary, Mr K. Yadagiri Reddy, said in his petition that the Election Commission had no power to defer the by-elections.
The petition pointed out to the court that the elections can be put off only if the situation is not conducive to holding them or if the general elections were scheduled within a year.
He argued that once the speaker of an assembly declares a seat as vacant and conveys this to the Election Commission, it becomes the statutory duty of the election panel to conduct the polls within six months.
The seats fell vacant in February after all 10 legislators of TRS and one each of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Telugu Desam Party resigned over the demand for separate statehood to Telangana region.
The TRS chief, Mr K. Chandrasekhara Rao’s son Mr K. Tarakarama Rao was elected from Sircilla constituency in last year’s elections by a thin majority of 171 votes. A petitioner has claimed that the votes were not counted properly.
In Vemulawada, Ch. Ramesh of TDP was elected but a contestant filed a petition contending that Ramesh was not a citizen of India.(IANS)