|4. Panchayat Elections|
Though the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act was enacted in April 1994, only after the change of Government in May 1996, the first ordinary elections were held to all the rural and urban Local Bodies in October 1996. The second ordinary elections to the Local Bodies were conducted during October 2001. The third ordinary elections to the Local Bodies were conducted in October 2006.
Article 243 D of the Constitution relates to reservation and rotation of seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women in rural Local Bodies. The relevant provisions of Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1994 are Sections 11, 20, 32 & 57. These are supplemented by the Tamil Nadu Panchayats (Reservation of Seats and Rotation of Reserved Seats) Rules, 1995. The Rules provide for the reservation of seats by adopting a list of wards or Panchayats arranged in the descending order of the percentage of SCs, STs and Women and applying a ‘cut off’ at the point where the number of reserved seats and offices is equal to the prescribed ratio. The periodicity of rotation is also fixed under the Rules. The Government amended Rule 7 of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats (Reservation of Seats and Rotation of Reserved Seats) Rules, 1995 vide G.O.Ms. No. 105, RD & PR (C4) Department, dated 1.9.2006 by virtue of which the posts of Presidents of Village Panchayats and Chairpersons of Panchayat Unions and District Panchayats reserved for SCs, STs and Women were rotated - after 10 years - for the October 2006 elections. While the posts of ward members of all the 3 tiers reserved for Women were rotated - after 10 years – those reserved for SCs and STs were not rotated; in other words, they would continue to be reserved as such until the Government direct otherwise.