Commissioner of the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar today called upon the people of the state to exercise their franchise in the ongoing Panchayat elections, saying that the rural local bodies would come into existence only due to their votes.
In a video message that Kumar released on the issue, he said that the SEC was organising the Panchayat elections in four phases across the state on February 9,13,17 and 21, and reassured the people that the elaborate arrangements had been made by the SEC for the voters' safety.
"I urge the voters to cast their votes. Elaborate and fool-proof security arrangements have been made to ensure a safe and peaceful election process. The elected bodies will be formed by the people's votes, and being thus accountable to the voters, they will show efficiency during their tenures," he said.
The ongoing Andhra Pradesh Panchayat elections have been marred by a bitter feud between the ruling party, the YSR Congress Party, and the SEC ever since the latter decided to go ahead with the elections despite the wishes of the party to do so.
After the SEC had already received a green signal to conduct the elections from the state's High Court
, the AP government had filed a petition at the Supreme Court, seeking to stay the HC's verdict. However, the government's plea was rejected by the apex court of the country
The Supreme Court ruling did not mark an end to the tussle between the election body and the state government regarding the matter, and led to various public clashes between the two. AP SEC Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and government advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy also lashed out at each other
some days back.