AP state oppose elections for local bodies in Feb
Files petition in high court
The tug of war like situation is still continuing between AP state government and state elections commission(SEC). The SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar seems committed to conduct local body elections to municipalities and Gramapanchayatis before his retirement by end of March but at the same time the state government headed by Chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy appears not to conduce those elections under Ramesh Kumar’s supervision.
On Tuesday Gopalakrishna Dwivedi, principa secretary of Panchayatiraj department of Andhra pradesh has filed a declaration in the state high court stating that it is not possible to conduct the elections to local bodies in February due to Covid pandemic. Dwivedi filed the petition in the high court challenging the decision of state election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar to conduct the elections in February next year. Dwivedi said Nimmagadda had made the announcement without consulting the state government and he made SEC secretary Vani Mohan as the respondent in the petition.
The government said the SEC announcement was against the directions of the Supreme Court, which clearly said the primary responsibility of the government during the Covid-19 pandemic was to safeguard the public health. Dwivedi pointed out that more than 6,700 people died due to Covid in the state in the last six months. “The SEC has deferred the elections to the local bodies in the initial stages of the pandemic. Now, when the situation has turned from bad to worse leading to thousands of cases, the SEC wants to conduct the elections, and said that the decision taken by SEC to conduct the elections in February 2021 is highly objectionable.