Jagan govt extends term of special officers in Andhra local bodies
The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday extended the terms of special officers of the local bodies by six months, according to two separate order issued in this regard. The terms were due to end on Sunday and Monday.
State election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar has said the elections to local bodies will be held in February. The government has opposed the move saying the entire official machinery will be busy with Covid-19 vaccination programme then.
The high court last week ruled Kumar is the final authority to decide the schedule for the elections and directed the government to constitute a three-member committee to discuss the poll schedule.
Kumar and the government have been at loggerheads since March last year over the conduct of local elections. The process for the elections was stalled due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has accused Kumar of stalling the election process in collision with opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP). He alleged Kumar sought to benefit the TDP because he belongs to the community of N Chandrababu Naidu, the head of the party.
The government removed Kumar through an ordinance in April that sought to reduce the term of the state election commissioner from five to three years.
Kumar moved the high court challenging the ordinance and got an order in his favour on May 29. The Supreme Court upheld the high court order.