AP YSRCP government heading for another confrontation with SEC

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The SEC's decision to postpone the local body elections in March due to coronavirus pandemic had led to his removal from the office. 

The Andhra Pradesh YSRCP government is heading for another confrontation with State Chief Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar by rejecting his proposal for conducting the local body elections in February 2021.

In reply to a communique sent to the state government by the SEC on November 17 conveying his decision to go conduct the election in February, State Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney said "it is not possible to conduct local body elections" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Sawhney said that the state government will immediately inform the SEC about its preparedness and readiness in resuming the adjourned elections, as and when the situation becomes conducive, reported NDTV. She said that the situation in Andhra Pradesh, particularly in rural areas has been a matter of grave concern.

Responding to the SEC’s point regarding successful conduct of Assembly elections in Bihar and the notification issued for conducting the elections for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in neighbouring Telangana, the Chief Secretary said that comparison among states may not present the correct picture as the situation is different in each state.

"Entire district administration including police continue to be actively involved in the containment of coronavirus spread. The central government has already warned the states to be wary of winter months," she pointed out.

She has asked the SEC to re-examine its decision in this regard. Further, she informed that it is not necessary for SEC to hold video conferencing with district collectors and other officers and that further consultations be continued.

The SEC had postponed the local body elections in March 2020 citing the coronavirus pandemic, just a few days ahead of the elections, culminating in his removal from the office. Though he was reinstated in service at the intervention of the court, both the SEC and state government have been at loggerheads since then (with inputs from agencies)

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