Andhra’s govt, state EC at loggerheads over local polls
State election commissioner N Ramesh Kumar on Saturday called a resolution passed by the Andhra Pradesh assembly opposing the conduct of local body elections to local bodies as “against the spirit of the Constitution”.
In a letter to governor Biswabhusan Harichandan, Kumar asserted that the State Election Commission was an autonomous institution as per Article 243K of the Constitution and conducting elections to local bodies was its responsibility.
The state Assembly on Friday hit out at the state election commission for seeking to conduct elections amid the Covid-19 pandemic and passed a resolution stating that the present situation in the state was not conducive for elections in February 2021.
The Jagan Mohan Reddy government on Friday moved a resolution in the assembly suggesting that suitable legal provisions would be incorporated in the AP Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, to prevent the conduct of local body elections against the wishes of the government. “While assembly recognises with respect the independence of the constitutional bodies specifically conferred with powers, it notes that unilateral decisions without considering bonafide concerns of the government would be inconsistent with the constitutional scheme,” the resolution said.
Kumar in his letter, said that the call for holding the elections with the consent of the state government was against the spirit of the Constitution.