EC pulls up Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan over making himself YSRCP chief for life

Updated on Sep 22, 2022 02:26 AM IST

The EC has written letters to the Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSRCP, based on a complaint lodged by party’s rebel parliamentarian Kanumuru Raghu Ramakrishna Raju on July 11

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday directed the YSR Congress Party to make a “clear and categorical public announcement” contradicting media report that claimed Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has been appointed the permanent president of the party.

Stating that the matter has the potential to create “confusion” in other political outfits, the poll panel in its order said it “rejects any attempt or even a hint of any organisational post being of permanent nature, being inherently anti-democracy”.

“Any action which denies the periodicity of elections is in complete violation of the extant instructions of the Commission,” the ECI said in its order. “If not categorically contradicted, it has the potential to create confusion in other political formations of such a move (which is widely reported in media) being condoned by the Election Commission of India and in turn can assume contagious proportions.”

The Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) had earlier told the poll panel that the matter was reported in the media and that the party has launched an internal enquiry in this regard. On Wednesday, ECI asked the party to conclude its internal enquiry at the earliest.

The ECI has written letters to the Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSRCP, based on a complaint lodged by party’s rebel parliamentarian Kanumuru Raghu Ramakrishna Raju on July 11.

Raju told HT that had written to chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar, alleging that the YSRCP had violated the provisions of Section 29(A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, by passing a resolution electing Reddy as the permanent president of the party.

The YSRCP plenary held at Guntur on July 8 and 9 adopted the resolution electing Reddy as the life-time president of the party. Party general secretary V Vijay Sai Reddy announced at the plenary that 22 sets of nominations were filed on July 8 and since there was no other nomination, the party unanimously elected Jagan Mohan Reddy as its life-time president.

To do so, the plenary resolved to amend Article 8 and 9 of the party’s constitution.

“However, there is no consent from the ECI on the change of party constitution to make Jagan as the life-time president,” Raju said.

YSRCP general secretary and advisor (political affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy could not be reached for comment.

Kommareddy Pattabhi, spokesperson of Andhra Pradesh’s opposition Telugu Desam Party, claimed the YSRCP “never believed in” democratic institutions and principles.

“As per the Representation of the People Act, there is no provision for any permanent or lifetime president or general secretary for any political party... But Jagan tried to bulldoze all procedures and rules,” said Pattabhi.

ECI further said: “Whereas, reply of the party dated informing of “unanimous” election of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy as president of the Party on July 8 and 9, 2022, did not categorically admit or deny the specific allegation as forwarded in Election Commission of India’s reference of July 19 regarding Jagan Mohan Reddy being made permanent president for life”.

It added that in the said reply, the allegation regarding appointment of Reddy as permanent president of YSRCP was addressed. “It was confirmed that the said matter was reported in the media and that the party has launched an internal enquiry in this regard,” the ECI said.

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