Andhra Pradesh

Officials stay away from SEC video conference

The serious differences between the government and State Election Commission (SEC) on the timing of gram panchayat elections, for which the first phase notification was issued on Saturday, turned into a full-blown crisis as the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police (DGP) and District Collectors stayed away from the video conference organised by State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar in the evening.

The video conference was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., but it had to be called off as the officials cited some urgent work as the reason for not attending the consultation, while Mr. Ramesh Kumar maintained that it was the bounden duty of the government officials to fulfil their Constitutional responsibilities once the election notification was issued.

Addressing mediapersons earlier in the day, Mr. Ramesh Kumar said it was in exercise of its powers under Article 243-K of the Constitution that the SEC was conducting the elections, and he would complain to the Governor and also inform the courts about any hindrances that might be caused by the government.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar told The Hindu that he exchanged letters with the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police over the cancelled video conference which would in his view undermine Phase-1 of the elections.

It may be noted that the Supreme Court is likely to hear the House motion petition filed by the government against the High Court order that elections should be conducted as per schedule, on January 25, while Mr. Ramesh Kumar expressed his resolve to hold the elections right away in fulfilment of his Constitutional mandate.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 12:13:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/officials-stay-away-from-sec-video-conference/article33645522.ece

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