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Congress protests postponement of Goa panchayat polls

The Goa Congress on Thursday protested against the state government decision to postpone panchayat elections in the coastal state to June.

In a representation submitted to the State Election Commission, Congress state unit President Luizinho Faleiro accused the BJP-led coalition government of trying to “manipulate the tenets of democracy” by putting off elections.

“These elections should not be postponed to June since the month marks the start of monsoon and thus will make it difficult for prospective voters to participate in the electoral process,” Faleiro said in a letter to the commission.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar announced postponement of panchayat elections from mid-May to June 25 as, he contended, Goa remained under a long spell of Model Code of Conduct on account of the February 4 assembly elections and the wait thereafter for more than a month for the results to be out.

Parrikar said people also tend to go on vacations in May, due to which panchayat elections could witness a low voter turnout.

The Congress leader, however, said the postponement did not “augur well in a democracy”.

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