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Trouble In AP Over Panchayat Elections Continues

AP SEC Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and government advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy today clashed publicly on the Panchayat election issue.
Hyderabad | 29th January 2021
Though the Supreme Court gave the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) the green signal to conduct the Panchayat elections in the state, the feud within various governmental bodies on the matter seems to be far from over.

SEC Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar today wrote a letter to Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan urging the latter to take action against AP Advisor to the Government (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy for making "politically motivated" statements on the matter.

He even urged the Governor to sack the advisor from his post.

In his letter, Kumar alleged that the government advisor was making "unacceptable, politically motivated statements" against the spirit of the Indian Constitution.

Rebel YSR Congress Party leader (YSRCP) and MP Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju welcomed the letter, terming it as a "good development".

"Ramakrishna Reddy is a political secretary of CM Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. He should remember this and should should give his advise to the CM in internal meetings. He should refrain from making political statements on public platforms," Raju said.

Government advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy however reacted to the SEC Commissioner's actions by alleging that the latter was "crossing his limits" by violating the rules that came with being the SEC head.

Reddy also alleged that the commissioner was peeved at the YSR Congress Party regime only because it was questioning him, and that was why he was trying to oust dissenting government officials from their posts even though he did not have the power to do so.

"SEC head Ramesh Kumar is behaving like a dictator, and as an agent of TDP head Chandrababu Naidu. I have, in the past, served as the general secretary of the YSRCP before becoming an advisor to the state government. So, I am fully aware of how to conduct myself. The SEC head's allegations against me are motivated by his desire to silence dissenters," he claimed.

Reddy also flayed the SEC Commissioner for not holding the Panchayat elections due in 2018 till now.

He also asserted that, contrary to the dominant rhetoric, the YSRCP had "never opposed the elections".

The Andhra Pradesh government and the SEC have been feuding over the organisation of the Panchayat elections for some time now. Though the AP High Court had already asked the SEC to go ahead with the elections, the government chose to approach the Supreme Court to oppose the decision. The Supreme Court, too, asked the SEC to proceed with the organisation of the rural body elections.

The AP government has, in recent times, drawn much flak from the Opposition leaders in the state over its reluctance to conduct the elections. TDP head Chandrababu Naidu has been particularly vociferous in censuring the government for its take on the issue.
filed in:  Andhra Pradesh, Elections, State Election Commission, Local Body Elections, Gram Panchayat, YSR Congress Party, Chandrababu Naidu, AP Governor
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