Hyderabad: Secunderabad Cantonment Board polls called off

Hyderabad: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a gazette notification on Friday stating that the upcoming Cantonment Board election, scheduled on April 30 has been rescinded.

A notification from the ministry, dated March 17 said the Government of India rescinds its February 17 notification announcing elections to the cantonment boards.

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Meanwhile, the SCB officials reportedly claim that the process has been halted temporarily and they are all set to release the revised list of voters.

The Secunderabad cantonment stands as the second largest in the country with one of the densest civilian populations of close to 5 lakh people spread over about 40.17 sq km.

A merger of its civilian localities with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been a long-standing demand while the rapid growth in the state, civilian residents of the cantonment fear they would be left behind.

MoD following the demand, deployed a committee to oversee the aspects (pensioners, cantonment funds, civic services, movable properties and stores, road management and traffic, and records) of the merger that has been submitted.

However, the news of the polls evoked protests from citizen groups and political parties with Telangana IT minister K T Rama Rao writing to defense minister Rajnath Singh seeking his intervention on the issue of deletion of names of electors from the voters’ list.

Demanding the restoration of the names, KTR said, “It is a completely illegal and unconstitutional act as none of the electors whose names were deleted from the electors’ list was given any show-cause notice before removal of their names from the list,”

While a case was being heard at the Telangana High Court demanding elections to SCB, another 26 cases were filed before the court seeking cancellation of the election after the February 17 notification.