AP high court refuses stay on local polls in Feb
The Andhrapradesh high court has wiped out the plans of the state government in conducting of local body elections in February 2021. Actually the State elections commissioner(SEC) Nimmagadda Rameshkumar plans to conduct the local body elections for Gramapanchayatis and municipalities before his retirement in March 2021. He proposed to undertake the elections in February but the government stated that it is not possible to conduct the elections in coming February due to Covid pandemic. Even the SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar approached the highcourt on his stand and appealed the court to allow him to go forward with his plan. On Thuraday the high court of AP denied to grant stay on Nimmagadda’s decision to hold elections in February stating that there was no merit in the argument of the government that the SEC had taken the decision unilaterally. The state government’s advocate argued that Nimmagadda had never conducted the state government before making an announcement on this issue. Its completely a violation of Supreme Court directions, he said. Ashwini Kumar, arguing on behalf of Nimmagadda, explained that SEC had consulted the state government thrice and he had not taken any unilateral decision. He produced evidences showing that Nimmagadda had held meetings with chief secretary Neelam Sawhney and the officials of the state medical and health department and also that of state panchayat raj department. Ashwini Kumar also sought to know why the state government had not brought it to the notice of the Supreme Court, if the SEC had really violated the Supreme Court guidelines. The government counsel sought another chance to put forth the state government’s arguments in this regard and the high court for further hearing. Anyhow, the court has refused to grant stay on the SEC orders on conducting of polls in February.