Andhra Pradesh

Govt. for conducting gram panchayat polls after 60 days: A.P. Chief Secretary

Aditya Nath Das   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

The State government has urged the State Election Commission (SEC) to revise the schedule for conducting the elections to local bodies in view of the vaccination programme.

In a letter to State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar on Friday, Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das said the State government was committed to assisting in the smooth conduct of elections to Panchayat Raj Institutions after duly inoculating poll personnel, including police, revenue etc. Any poll schedule after 60 days of the first dose of immunising the poll personnel, being part of front line workers in Phase I and II of the vaccination programme, would be acceptable to the government, he said.

The State government, in compliance of the High Court order, would like to request the SEC to revise the schedule which would be in compliance with the letter and spirit of the High Court Order that “the parties would make all endeavour to ensure that both programmes are conducted smoothly and successfully”.

The health and well-being of the polling personnel would be ensured only if they underwent a vaccination process and acquired the required immunity, so that they could be sent on duties of crowd management. Anything which is not in compliance with the Centre’s COVID guidelines would imperil the health of the personnel. A sagacious approach would be appreciated, he said, adding, the responsibility lay on both the government and SEC to carry out both programmes successfully.

“Since the entire process involves concerns of public health and in the context of telephonic conversation with me indicating your decision to go ahead with the schedule as notified in the letter which was challenged in the writ petition, we were constrained to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” he said adding, “Hence, we once again urge you not to proceed further and await the hearing of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter, so that all concerns could be legitimately taken care of and the schedule conducive to both the processes is accordingly worked out.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 5:09:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/govt-for-conducting-gram-panchayat-polls-after-60-days/article33638267.ece

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