Local body elections: Stage set for another confrontation between govt and SEC in Andhra Pradesh

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While the earlier confrontation between SEC and the government was over the former’s decision to postpone the local body elections in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this time it is over his move to hold the elections.  

The YSRCP government of Andhra Pradesh is once again gearing up for a showdown with State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar by coming out against his initiative to thrash out a political consensus on holding local body elections in the state in November 2020.

While the earlier confrontation between SEC and the government was over the former’s decision to postpone the local body elections in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this time it is over his move to hold the elections.  

Party president and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has conveyed the government’s inability to conduct the polls in November after the SEC convened a meeting of representatives of political parties on October 28 to explore the possibility of holding the elections in November.

He initiated the move after the Central and several state government have eased the lockdown restrictions. However, the chief minister came out against the move at a review meeting he chaired on Friday, October 23.

After the meeting, Minister Mekapati Gautam Reddy said that although the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic in the state seems to have abated somewhat, there is a possibility of a reoccurrence. He said that the cases will increase in the month of November.

"Elections in states like Bihar are mandatory and we have some leeway for local body elections," he said adding that there is no provision for holding local body elections at present.

The local body elections were cancelled by the commission earlier for the same reason. The decision to postpone the elections had stirred a hornet's nest in state politics. The government had removed him from the position and appointed one Kanagaraj as SEC.

However, state High court had reinstated Ramesh again as SEC. The AP government has approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court judgment. However the Supreme Court also refused to grant stay and reinstated Nimmagadda as SEC.

Now he is planning to hold deliberations with political parties for conduct of local body elections as the Central and state governments have announced an easing of restrictions (with inputs from hansindia.com)

Image Credit: New Indian Express  

 

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