AP govt moves HC against SEC's decision to hold gram panchayat polls

PTI | Vja | Updated: 09-01-2021 19:45 IST | Created: 09-01-2021 19:45 IST
AP govt moves HC against SEC's decision to hold gram panchayat polls

Amaravati, Jan 9 (PTI): The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddygovernment on Saturday challenged the State ElectionCommissions decision to conduct elections to the grampanchayats and hurriedly moved a 'House Motion petition' inthe High Court seeking that the poll process be stalled.

The government did not get any relief as the HighCourt has not immediately taken up the petition and mayconsider it on Monday, authoritative sources said.

State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumarannounced the schedule late on Friday night, overruling thestate governments objections against the conduct of theelections, saying the polls to gram panchayats would be heldin four phases in February.

The ruling YSR Congress alleged that the SEC is''dancing to the tunes of Telugu Desam Party president NChandrababu Naidu.'' YSRC MP V Vijaya Sai Reddy went on to announce thatthe gram panchayat elections would be held only in May-Juneafter completion of the impending by-election to the TirupatiLok Sabha seat.

Taking strong exception to this, the State ElectionCommissioner wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary Aditya NathDas that such utterances would conclusively influence thegovernment action (if not already done) vis-a-vis the localbody elections.

''It is also indicative that the party (and thegovernment by default) is not in favour of holding electionsduring the tenure of the present Commissioner and shall holdelections only after my demitting the office (on March 31,2021),'' Ramesh Kumar averred in the letter.

The governments official line, however, has beenthat holding the elections would be difficult in view of theinvocation of the National Disaster Management Act.

''The Covid-19 pandemic is tackled along with thevaccination programme being undertaken by the Union Ministryof Health and the whole state machinery would be engaged inthe massive operation, '' the Chief Secretary said in his replyto the SECs letter.

But, with the SEC going ahead with the announcementof the poll schedule, the government minced no words inattacking Ramesh Kumar.

''The SEC acted in a pre-determined fashion andstubbornly announced the gram panchayat election schedulewithout considering the state governments request for furtherconsultations,'' Panchayat Raj Principal Secretary GopalKrishna Dwivedi said.

''He did not consult the government while postponingthe elections (in March last) and now while announcing thefresh schedule.This exposes the SECs intentions,'' he said ina statement.

The SEC has put the public health at stake byunilaterally announcing the poll schedule, he alleged.

The AP Non-Gazetted Officers Association presidentChandrasekhar Reddy said the government staff would not takepart in the poll process as it would jeopardise their lives.

The Revenue Services Association president BopparajuVenkateswarlu also opposed the SEC decision.

The main opposition Telugu Desam Party welcomed theSEC decision to conduct the gram panchayat elections and saidthe governments stance on the issue amounted to breakdown ofthe Constitution.

''The government is supposed to act as per theConstitution but the Jagan regimes acts could lead toconstitutional breakdown.Elections are inevitable and even theSupreme Court made it clear that seeking postponement of thepolls without reason was not right,'' TDP senior leader andformer minister Alapati Rajendra Prasad said.

He wondered why the YSRC was shying away from thepanchayat elections when it claims to have the support of 50per cent of people.PTI DBV BNWELCOME BNWELCOME

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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