“Nimmagadda Didn’t Keep Any Single File to Postponement”: SEC to AP High Court

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Vijayawada: The State Election Commission (SEC) of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday informed that not even a single file related to local election postponement is present in the office. They also said that the documents of either the Central Government or the State Health Department over the coronavirus threat are also not current. Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, the State Election Commissioner, cited these reasons for the postponement of elections by six weeks. 

Rama Sundar Reddy, the secretary of SEC, registered a counter-affidavit in the court about actions made by Ramesh Kumar for deferring the elections in March. On March 3, after consultation with the state government, SEC announced the election schedule.

On March 7 and 9, election notifications for municipalities, NPTC, municipal corporations, ZPTC and panchayats were issued. On March 15, a press conference was held by Ramesh Kumar to announce the postponement of elections till the coronavirus intensity subsides.

Reddy mentioned that “Ramesh Kumar has kept this decision private and he hadn’t consulted with any government official on this matter”. He informed the chief secretary on the day of postponement, Reddy further added.

Ramesh Kumar issued a second letter to the secretary, where he ordered the transfers of Chittoor’s, Guntur’s collectors and SPs. He also ordered the suspension of CIs of Macherla, Punganoor, Rayadurgam and Tadipatri, and DSPs of Palamaneru and Srikalahasti.

Reddy mentioned that “Ramesh Kumar has not mentioned any sufficient reason to suspend or to transfer the officials in his orders”. “The SEC office also has not maintained the files or registered any complaints that were made by media and the political parties”, Reddy added.

“Ramesh Kumar decided by himself without consulting the official. On March 15 he issued a press conference stating that he had consulted officials of Central Government on coronavirus issue. Still, there is no file in this matter in the office of the SEC” Reddy mentioned in the affidavit.

Reddy said that SEC is not involved in allegations made by Ramesh Kumar. “The State Election Commission agrees with Panchayat Raj Department regarding the State Government’s ordinance to change the tenure and the eligibility or State Election Commission’s officials,” Reddy had added in the affidavit.