Is This Why Jagan is Speeding up Panchayat Polls?

Why is the YS Jagan government is speeding up the process of local body elections in Andhra Pradesh? Key bureaucrats of Andhra Pradesh such as additional DG Ravishankar Ayyanar, principal secretary of Panthayat Raj GK Dwivedi and commissioner Girija Shankar held a key meeting on Friday with the state election commission on Friday. If all goes well, the elections could be held by Ugadi. Why this hurry?

There are two reasons. The TDP is in disarray. Several key leaders have left the party. TDP money bags are missing in action. Several chief funders of the party have joined the BJP. Given this situation, the TDP would not have the heart to put up a real fight. As a result, a facile victory for the YSRCP is guaranteed. This victory will further demoralise the TDP, which is already down in the dumps. It cannot get its act together by Ugadi. So, the YSRCP can firm up its hold further on the rural areas.

More importantly, the fund crunch-hit AP Government is also speeding up the process for another reason. The duration of the 14th finance commission is coming to an end. It's period would end before March-end. So, the State Government wants the pending funds to be realised for the local bodies quickly. The funds of the 14th finance commission have not been released as the local body elections, which should have been held by August 2018, have not been held by the then TDP government. As a result, Rs 3710 crore remains pending for the gram panchayats and Rs 1400 crore for the municipal bodies. The YSRCP government wants to hold the elections immediately so that these amounts could be realised.
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