Vijayawada: Overruling the Andhra Pradesh Government’s plea, State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar has notified the panchayat raj elections in four phases from February 5 to 17.
State Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das had earlier represented to the SEC to put off polls deferred earlier till Coronavirus vaccination is over. The government said the situation is not ripe for polls as there is threat of second wave in winter.
Squarely rejecting the plea, Ramesh Kumar said they would go ahead with the elections next month. He cited how polls could be held successfully in Bihar and other States.
He also contended that the State would lose allocation of funds by the Finance Commission to the tune of crores of rupees if polls were not conducted immediately.
The government and the SEC are at loggerheads ever since Ramesh Kumar deferred polls midway through without consulting the former. This led to removal of Ramesh Kumar from the post following reduction in the tenure of the post.
However, the former IAS officer, who was appointed during erstwhile Telugu Desam Government, was reinstated after he got a court order against his unceremonious exit.
Meanwhile, the government appears to be in no mood to accept the SEC notification. It said it would approach the court against the SEC’s decision. The tenure Mr. Ramesh Kumar is due for completion in next three months.