Andhra Pradesh

Poll notification draws flak from the government, Opposition welcomes it

AP NGOs Association president N. Chandra Sekhar Reddy and other members addressing the media in Vijayawada on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: V. RAJU

The issue of notification for the first phase of gram panchayat elections by State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar on Saturday came in for severe criticism by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), while the Opposition parties insisted that the elections should be held as per schedule in compliance with the High Court order.

Speaking to mediapersons at Punganur in Chittoor district, Panchayat Raj & Rural Development Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy criticised Mr. Ramesh Kumar’s unilateral action in issuing the election notification when the matter had not yet been adjudicated by the Supreme Court. He questioned the propriety of Mr. Ramesh Kumar’s decision that the elections should be held at a time when the government was engaged in a massive COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Assembly Speaker Thammineni Seetharam said in Srikakulam that Mr. Ramesh Kumar should tell who was responsible for the delay in holding the elections which were supposed to be conducted way back in 2018, and wondered if he was aware of the Right to Life and Personal Liberty that was enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution.

TDP State president K. Atchan Naidu commented that the YSRCP was fearing the outcome of the elections and that it was anti-Constitutional on Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy’s part to say that the employees would not cooperate with the SEC for holding the elections.

In a letter to Mr. Ramesh Kumar, TDP general secretary Varla Ramaiah said the manner in which the YSRCP-led State government indulged in a smear campaign against the State Election Commission (SEC) reflected the blatant violations of the Model Code of Conduct and its (government’s) stubbornness in not following court orders.

BJP State general secretary S. Vishnuvardhan Reddy told mediapersons that the government was treating the State Election Commission with disdain, thereby vitiating the spirit of the Constitution. He took strong objection to the defiant attitude of employees and faulted top officials of the government for not attending the video-conference held by Mr. Ramesh Kumar on Saturday evening and observed that the YSRCP was not permanent whereas the government and its machinery were.

Meanwhile, AP Non-Gazetted Officers’ Association president N. Chandrasekhar Reddy said the employees could not be forced to participate in the election process and that Mr. Ramesh Kumar was brushing aside their concerns and issuing veiled threats.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 12:20:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/poll-notification-draws-flak-from-the-government-opposition-welcomes-it/article33645621.ece

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