Amaravati:'Panchayati' over local body polls

‘Panchayati’ over local body polls
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‘Panchayati’ over local body polls

Highlights

SEC adamant on holding elections, govt wants polls after vaccination drive

Amaravati: Is Andhra Pradesh heading towards constitutional crisis? A high drama was witnessed in the State since morning and the big question now is will or will not the local body elections be held. While the SEC announced that the notification for local body polls will be announced on Saturday, the State Government approached the Supreme Court seeking postponement of elections.

Now, it is a question of whose ego will be bruised after the SEC announced the conduct of the elections and would issue the notification on Saturday armed with High Court order. The SEC called Secretary Panchayat Raj Gopalakrishna Dwivedi and other officials for a meeting. But they did not turn up.

He then issued a memo asking them to attend the meeting by 5 pm but even then they did not attend the meeting saying that they were in a meeting with the Chief Minister over the legal aspects to be presented before the Supreme Court. Later, Dwivedi went to the SEC office and handed over a note to Ramesh Kumar and drove straight to the office of the Chief Secretary.

The State Government, expectedly, took the battle over 'local body elections' in Andhra Pradesh to the Supreme Court on Friday evening. It moved a house motion urging the apex court to postpone the elections at least till the frontline warriors were vaccinated. In its petition, the AP Government claimed that State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar does not have the medical expertise to decide when Panchayat elections should be held in the State when frontline workers are being vaccinated.

It also pleaded that the entire police force was set to get vaccinated from February. It said, holding elections would push the entire vaccination drive into a disarray and endanger the lives of lakhs of citizens. But the Supreme Court rejected the house motion and posted the case to Monday.

On the other hand, the employees unions under the shadow of Covid-19 have been opposing conduct of the elections. While the government feels that the notification should not be issued till the apex court decides the matter, legal experts say that the precedence is that the apex court normally does not intervene once notification was issued.

Amidst such a situation, Ramesh Kumar called on the Governor and explained the situation to him and sought his intervention. In a quick move, the SEC transferred two district collectors Guntur and Chittoor and also transferred some SPs, DSPs, and CIs.

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