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KCR comments target both Jagan-Naidu regimes

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is making curious comments in his hurry to counter rising political criticism of his regime these days. The one effort KCR is making strongly is to make a comparison of the financial situations and land values in the two Telugu States. This is obviously to highlight how his Government has been contributing greatly for a robust development of ‘Bangaru Telangana’ that was his slogan.

However, KCR’s comment on the land values and debts turned sharp focus on both the Jagan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu regimes. The Telangana CM has been saying that Telangana land rates were once considered very low compared to those of Andhra. But the situation has turned upside down that with one acre of Telangana, one would be able to buy three to four acres in Andhra Pradesh nowadays.

KCR’s analysis was obviously aimed at how his party’s continuing rule in the past seven years has made a difference. However, the political analysts are having their own doubts about this. They point out that at one point of time, the land values in Hyderabad surroundings were badly hit following a steady rise in the fortunes and image of the Andhra Pradesh Capital, Amaravati. Doubtless to say, the rising crisis in AP Capital in the last two years has contributed to rising fortunes of land owners in Telangana Capital and its surroundings.

Whatever, critics say KCR’s comments have become embarrassing for both Jagan and Naidu even as AP people end up as silent listeners.

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AP CM relaunches refurbished Spandana portal

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Andhra Pradesh government launched a refurbished Spandana portal, a one-stop public grievances redressal platform.

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy relaunched the modernised portal on Friday and directed the officials to keep a track of the grievances being addressed by the concerned departments.

The renovated portal comes with the option of reopening grievances.

“Citizens can reopen the grievances in case they are not satisfied with the redressal. Reopening of grievances can be done twice, first at the district level and second at the head of the department level,” said an official.

They can be categorised into critical, high and general.

Public grievances can be raised at the village and ward secretariats through call centres, self-service through the portal or app.

Likewise, citizens can check the status of grievances through a web link provided to them, calling at 1902 or visiting the nearby village or ward secretariats.

The new Spandana portal enables citizens to give feedback through a link or over a phone call from a call centre agent.

As part of the new system, regular field level surveys will be carried out to ensure grievances are thoroughly redressed.

On the submission of a complaint by a citizen, officials are required to directly track and resolve it. Officials are required not to leave grievances unresolved and when rejecting a grievance, they should point out the exact reason why a grievance is being rejected.

“There should be a fortnightly review by the secretaries at the state level and district collectors at the district level to monitor the quality redressal and effectiveness of Spandana portal,” said Reddy.

He approved the erection of a digital screen at his camp office which displays Spandana dashboards.

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Jagan gimmick to make Nilam Sawhney new SEC

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There seems to be the same old disqualification tactic employed by the ruling YCP leaders in the selection of the new State Election Commissioner. As per the guidelines, the YCP Government sent a list of three names to Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan for finalising the new SEC. The list contained the names of retired IAS officers Samuel and Premchandra Reddy in addition to Nilam Sawhney.

However, Sawhney’s name was finally approved citing reasons of disqualification of the remaining two enlisted retired officers. The rules say that the retired IAS officers who crossed 65 years of age cannot be permitted to become the Election Commissioners.

It was found out that both Samuel and Premchandra Reddy have crossed the age limit. Hence, their candidature for the SEC post became untenable. Now questions are being raised whether the Government did not check the ineligibility of Samuel and Premchandra Reddy before putting their names on the list that was sent to the Governor.

Doubts are there whether the Government deliberately made Nilam Sawhney the new SEC in order to take its sweet revenge against the outgoing SEC Ramesh Kumar. It was Nilam who defied Ramesh Kumar’s orders and eventually facing contempt of court cases.

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Campaign on welfare, development for Tirupati by-poll: Jagan

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) founder Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday instructed his party leaders to rely on promoting the government’s development and welfare activities as the poll strategy for the forthcoming Tirupati by-election on April 17.

“Take the development and welfare activities of the state government to the people and chalk out a strategy so that the results of the by-election should ensure that the nation looks towards Andhra Pradesh,” said Reddy.

During the by-poll preparedness review meeting, he introduced YSRCP’s candidate, M. Gurumoorthy, to the leaders at his camp office.

Reddy called on the leaders to canvass how the state is transparently implementing welfare schemes irrespective of caste, religion and political affiliation without corruption and bias.

The Chief Minister instructed the party leaders to visit each and every house in the Parliamentary constituency and explain the government’s activities.

He also called on them to publicise the commitment of the state government towards benefiting and empowering women.

“YSRCP won a landslide in the local body elections by God’s grace and the whole country will be observing Tirupati by-election and the result of this by-poll should be a message. One minister will be appointed for each Assembly segment as in-charge in addition to an MLA,” the Chief Minister noted.

He cautioned the party leaders not to be over confident and told them to work with coordination to ensure Gurumoorthy’s victory with a good majority.

Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy, Balineni Srinivas Reddy, Perni Venkatramaiah and a host of other ministers and leaders attended the review meeting.

Meanwhile, the four week stay by the High Court in the CID probe against Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu can be seen as a lifeline for the party to focus on the Tirupati by-election for which TDP was the first party to declare a candidate, Panabaka Lakshmi.

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Tirupati battle will decide Jagan-Naidu fates?

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There are one lakh acres of Government lands in and around Tirupati temple town. As such, it has got all the potential to become a vibrant capital city for Andhra Pradesh. Former MP Chinta Mohan says that he has placed this demand before the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but he has refused to acknowledge this. Even in Brahmamgari Kalagnanam, it was written that Tirupati would become the State Capital.

Chinta Mohan brought all these issues to the fore now ahead of the Tirupati bypoll. He says this by-election is going to be a crucial turning point in the history of not just AP but the whole India. Its result will decide the fates of both Jaganmohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu.

Chinta Mohan, who was a long time Congress MP from Tirupati, lost to the YCP in 2019. He entered the poll campaign once again launching a scathing attack on CM Jagan Reddy. Chinta Mohan dropped a bombshell saying that it was his close friend YSR who sowed the seeds for the Telangana movement in order to bring down the Kotla Vijayabhasker Reddy Government at that time. Afterwards, the agitation moved to the Osmania university from where KCR picked it up and continued it relentless till the State was separated.

Chinta Mohan said that there was no difference between Jagan and Modi. Jagan has supported the LIC bill in the Parliament without any principles.

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Jagan’s dream project “Kadapa Steel Plant” in trouble even before launch!

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s dream project of setting up a steel plant in Kadapa is heading for a crisis even before its launch.Jagan laid the foundation stone for the steel plant in Jammalamadugu mandal on December 23, 2019 amid much fanfare.

He had allotted 3,295 acres for the plant. Jagan has decided to set up AP High-Grade Steels Ltd. (steel plant) at Sunnapurallapalle and Peddananduluru villages in Kadapa district, with an aim to produce three million metric tonnes per year, including 84.7 MW of electricity generation in the first phase.

He has decided to set up the steel plant as a joint venture and had selected Liberty Steel India as their partners. In the first phase the project is expected to cost Rs 10,082 crore and another Rs 6,000 crore will be spent in the second phase. The production capacity is expected to be doubled in the second phase of the project.

It has now come to light that the JV partner Liberty Steel India is in a deep financial crisis.

This is because Greensill Capital, the main creditor of GFG Alliance has filed insolvency protection in London.

GFG Alliance is the parent company of Liberty Steel India.

GFG Alliance owes Rs 30,000 crore loans to Greensill Capital.

In its insolveny protection, Greensill capital stated that GFG Alliance is in deep financial crisis due to which it defaulted on loan repayment.

Now questions are being raised how Liberty Steel India will invest Rs 16,000 crore in Kadapa Steel Plant when it’s parent company GFG Alliance is in deep financial crisis.

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2 Exciting Offers for Women by AP CM Jagan on Women’s Day!

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has decided to provide a 10 percent discount on mobile purchases to women on March 8, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. However, the offer is only applicable to the users of the Disha app.

Jagan also instructed the officials to make the QR code of the Disha app available at 2,000 stands across the state to make maximum women avail the offer. While women are quite happy hearing the news, he also ordered officials to grant special leave on Women’s Day to the women working in the police department. Two women constables from every wing will be facilitated for their achievements on the same day.

Jagan has also confirmed that women government employees will get five casual leaves and non-gazetted women employees will get Rs 5 lakh. He also ordered the officials to create awareness among women through short film festivals on the Disha app.

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Jagan’s ‘secret operation’ to shift AP capital from Amaravathi to Vizag!

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy seem to be hell-bent on shifting the AP capital from Amaravathi to Vizag despite pending legal cases in the AP High Court.

Jagan’s recent moves show that he had launched a ‘secret operation’ to shift the capital to Vizag even before the High Court delivered its verdict on the case.

The latest GO (government order) issued by the Jagan government shows that how Jagan has speeded up shifting of AP capital to Vizag albeit ‘secretly.

The AP home department issued a GO to shift Police Command Control Room in Vijaywada to Vizag all of a sudden.

In a way this amounts to the shifting of AP police headquarters from Vijayawada to Vizag.

Police headquarters should function from the state capital. CM himself oversees law and order in the state.

This shows that CM Jagan wants to shift his administration from Vijayawada to Vizag anytime soon.

The previous TDP government had allotted land and Rs 13 crore funds to set up a police command control room in Vijayawada.

However, after Jagan became CM, the project was halted.

Now the Jagan government had issued a GO to shift this project to Vizag.

Jagan is also planning to shift APSRTC headquarters in Vijayawada “RTC House” to Vizag soon.

APSRTC MD RP Thakur visited Vizag and inspected Dwaraka Bus Complex triggering speculations that RTC House from Vijayawada will be shifted to Vizag soon.

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PSLV C-51 launch: Telugu states’ CMs hail ISRO

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday congratulated Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for successful launch of PSLV-C51.

Chandrasekhar Rao said that with the launch of PSLV-C5 the first dedicated commercial satellite, ISRO has proved to be one of the world’s leading space research organisation.

The Telangana CM also said that many countries have chosen ISRO for their technical needs and has once again brought a reputation to our country. He congratulated the scientists, engineers, other technical staff and employees of the ISRO for achieving success.

Jagan Mohan Reddy also congratulated ISRO scientists for the successful launch of PSLV- C 51. He wished the ISRO team success in all future endeavours.

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Jagan awards for ‘volunteers’ raise doubts amid polls

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Grama and ward volunteers have become a major controversy for their role in the panchayat elections. Now, the State Election Commission is busy with the municipal elections. The ZPTC and MPTC polls are also on the cards. Amid this election season, the Jagan Reddy Government has come out with a plan to give awards to the volunteers in the coming Ugadi festival in recognition of their services.

Interestingly, the awards presentation would be taken up with the assembly segment as a unit. ‘Seva Ratna’, ‘Seva Mitra’ and ‘Seva Vajra’ awards will be given to them. Cash awards of Rs. 10,000, Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 30,000 would be given to these Volunteers respectively.

CM Jagan himself is going to attend these awards distribution functions in the three regions. The excessive focus being given by the YCP has triggered doubts on the greater importance it is going to give to the Volunteers system. Already, the Opposition parties are greatly alarmed at the misuse of this system to pressurise and even threaten the voters during the elections.

The volunteers are next only to the police in becoming controversial for their role in harassing the Opposition candidates and voters. From the beginning, the ruling party MLAs and top leaders are closely having a total control on the activities of the volunteers which has triggered serious concerns among the rivals.

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CM letter to Railway Minister ahead of municipal polls

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The coming municipal elections are posing a huge challenge to the YCP leaders. CM Jagan has already ordered his party leaders to win 90 percent local bodies. The Vijayawada municipal corporation election has assumed greater significance. If the YCP wins this mayoral election, then Jagan Reddy can claim it as the people’s mandate in favour of his 3 Capitals plan.

Amid this, the Chief Minister has written a letter to the Railway Minister asking for handing over railway lands in Vijayawada city limits to the AP government. These lands are located in Rajarajeswaripet where over 800 families are living by encroaching the same. The CM told the Railway Minister that these families have been living in those lands for the last 30 years. If these lands were handed over to AP, alternative lands would be provided for the Railways in Ajitsinghnagar.

After this, much political heat has generated on what more plans the ruling YCP leaders are coming up with in order to win the Vijayawada municipal corporation polls.

At the same time, the rivals are saying that the CM’s letter would be just an eyewash considering the fact that it came just a few days ahead of the elections.

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Jagan Reddy targets Amaravati panchayat poll

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The polling of the fourth and final phase of panchayat polls began today morning. Counting will be taken up in the evening itself followed by results. Amaravati major panchayat has come up for polling in this phase. The ruling YCP leaders have taken it as a prestigious matter considering the need for CM Jagan to get the public approval from all corners for his Capital shifting. As such, money and muscle power are being used to the maximum possible level.

One saving grace is that Amaravati panchayat is reserved for the ST woman category this year. So, there is less concentration. There are over 11,000 voters and 16 wards. This temple village is located just 20 kms from the core capital construction site. It is home to Amaralingeswara Swamy temple located on the banks of the river Krishna. Considering its historic significance, the previous Chandrababu Naidu government gave Amaravati name to the new Capital city of Andhra Pradesh.

The Jagan regime’s efforts to get the Amaravati panchayat poll unanimously announced did not bear fruit. The Opposition parties have put up stiff resistance. Moreover, there is some heartburn among the local population that CM Jagan was unjustly taking away their Capital City to Vizag.

As such, there is a lot of curiosity on the final result of this major panchayat. If it wins, the YCP would indeed get a major boost in its mission to shift the Capital city.

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Jagan raises Spl Status but not steel plant at PM meet

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AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy attended an online meeting of the Niti Ayog. It was presided over by Prime Minister Modi. The Chief Ministers of other states also took part in the meeting. Mr. Jagan Reddy made a special mention of how Andhra Pradesh suffered a serious setback because of lack of Special Status. He had scores of other problems of AP in front of the PM but not the current burning topic of the steel plant privatisation.

Mr. Jagan Reddy said the Centre itself said AP was badly hit during the bifurcation but it had not fulfilled the promise on Special Status till now. The CM had also raised the need for the Centre’s approval for the revised estimates of the Polavaram project. He sought approval for 13 medical colleges. He also told the Prime Minister that his Government has been strictly implementing many reforms as per the expectations of the Central Government.

In a very unexpected way, the Chief Minister remained silent on the steel plant issue during the PM meeting. On the other side, his party MPs were saying that they would take up protests against the VSP sale in Delhi soon.A lot of confusion is going on in the steel plant issue. There has been no clarification from the PM or Amit Shah or any Union Minister officially whether the Centre has withdrawn the VSP sale or not. However, BJP AP leaders and AP CM have said there is no decision taken on the privatisation so far.

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Jagan plea to PM as Centre speeds up Visakha Steel plan

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Heavy losses in the public sector is forcing the Central Government to hasten the disinvestments. Now, the Modi regime has set a one and half year deadline to totally privatise the Visakha Steel Plant. This is despite the rising agitation and also AP CM Jaganmohan Reddy’s letter to the Prime Minister seeking withdrawal of the privatisation plan. The Centre is moving ahead with disinvestment of Visakha Plant considering its high prospects to attract potential investors.

The steel plant property is currently of high value. It has got over 19,700 acres whose value itself would reach anywhere around Rs. 1 lakh Cr. Over 20,000 permanent employees were depending on it for their livelihoods. Thousands of others are getting indirect employment.

In his letter, Jagan Reddy told the PM that the Visakha Steel was a project that the Andhras had fought and achieved after a decade-long agitation. The steel plant has no iron ore mines of its own. If the Centre extends support in such matters, the Visakha Steel would have huge scope for better performance.

On the other hand, the Modi Government is seriously pursuing the disinvestment considering the increasing losses in the public sector steel companies. It also has plans to privatise the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) but it is put on hold temporarily.

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SEC rejects Jagan plea, announces poll notification

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AP State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar has rejected the Jagan Reddy Government’s plea for postponing the panchayat poll notification till after the Supreme Court order on Monday. He asserted that he would abide by any order that would be issued by the Supreme Court in this regard. As per the schedule, Nimmagadda announced the poll notification for the first phase today.

Unlike his usual self, the SEC held an elaborate press conference on the circumstances that led to the Government not giving expected cooperation despite the High Court orders. The Government told the court that 2021 electoral rolls would be prepared to conduct the panchayat polls based on that. But, this roll could not be prepared. To discuss this, the SEC had asked the Panchayat Raj Secretary and Commissioner for a meeting but they did not attend. So, the decision was taken to conduct the polls based on the 2019 voter lists.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar passed indirect remarks at the adamant attitude of Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy. He said that either those in the SEC or in the Government were just servants to the public. It is the people who are the real rulers in a democracy. It is not correct to say that the elections should not be held on some pretext or the other. The local bodies need to be strengthened with new leadership. Only the elections would help create and develop that leadership. The people are very enthusiastic about the polls and everybody should respect their sentiments.

The SEC said that he had firm hopes on cooperation from the AP Chief Secretary and the DGP. But the problem is that the Panchayat Raj Secretary and Commissioner were not giving the expected cooperation. This was despite the court’s orders. The same would be communicated to the Governor for taking further action.

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Jagan consults experts, unwilling to cooperate with SEC

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has already clearly told the AP Government to give necessary cooperation to the State Election Commission for conducting panchayat polls. The Government argued that Coronavirus vaccination was important but the court asserted that the elections were equally important.

Still, CM Jaganmohan Reddy appears adamant not to cooperate with SEC Ramesh Kumar. The SEC is going ahead with his announcement on poll notification. Now, the Chief Minister is just consulting the legal experts and senior IAS officers how to face the consequences once the SEC issues notification.

No doubt, it would be very difficult to reverse the situation once the poll notification is issued. It is because the State Election Commission is a constitutional institution which is vested with autonomous powers. Already, the High Court order is there instructing the AP Government to work under the SEC to conduct the polls.

Amid these embarrassing developments, the Chief Minister is still not wanting to let the SEC conduct the elections. Once again, the Government began the same old argument for postponing the elections for two months till after the vaccination. This argument was put before the court which had however allowed the SEC to hold the poll.
If the CM will not soften his stand, one more constitutional crisis will be created now.

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Can Jagan Govt ignore SEC poll notification?

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Senior IAS officers are getting caught in the crossfire between CM Jaganmohan Reddy and SEC Ramesh Kumar in Andhra Pradesh. Despite the Government’s request, the SEC is going ahead with his schedule to issue notification for the first phase panchayat polls today. Mr. Ramesh Kumar has already instructed that the Special Chief Secretary and the Commissioner of the Panchayat Raj departments would make all arrangements for conducting the polls.

The SEC has also clarified that the Spl CS and the Commissioner would have to mobilise funds and resources for the election process. Also, they should take all necessary steps to provide Coronavirus preventive materials to all the staff on duty in the election process.
Over half a day is over since the Government requested the SEC for postponing the poll notification. Till now, there has been no indication from the SEC on change of plans. Mr. Ramesh Kumar is continuing to give his instructions and also cautionary statements against the erring officers.
As per reports, the first phase panchayat polling nominations will be accepted from January 25. Scrutiny will be on January 28, withdrawals on January 31. Polling will be held on February 5. The people can cast their votes between 6.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. The counting will be taken after 4 p.m.

Now, the big question is whether the senior IAS officers will follow the SEC notification or not. If they do, they will fall out of favour of the CM. If they do not follow, they will have to face serious action that may be initiated by the SEC.

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CM Jagan launches ‘cow worship’ at Narasaraopet

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is all set to beat his rivals and the Hindu organisations in their own game. That is to take up devotional programmes to spread religious fervour. Today, the Chief Minister visited Narasaraopet Municipal Stadium where he took part in the ‘Gopuja’ programme.

The CM, his Ministers and MLAs have embarked on a state wide programme to do ‘cow worship’ programmes at over 2,679 temples. All this is being taken up under the auspices of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams and the AP Endowments Department.
The ruling YCP leaders say that it is their Chief Minister’s new call to all the devotees to worship the cow and realise its significance in the Indian way of life. The ISKCON organisers are actively participating in this new ‘Gopuja’ programmes of the Jagan Reddy regime.

As part of this campaign, the CM has himself directly entered the scene. Posters are pasted at all the temples on the ‘Gopuja’ details and the importance of ‘cow products’.

On the other hand, the political rivals and the Hindu organisations are holding campaigns for protection of the temples and idols.

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AP SEC used Jagan ‘weekend tactics’ against Govt

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It is well known how the AP Government and the AP Police give no chance to their victims to get immediate relief from the courts. The standard operating procedure has been to arrest and book cases on Friday evenings so that the opponents cannot access urgent justice in the courts for over two days. In the gap, the ruling YCP leaders will do everything possible to checkmate the opponents
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But this one time, the Jagan Reddy regime’s ‘weekend tactics’ bitterly backfired on the Government itself with respect to State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar. AP Chief Secretary made a very smart move to meet with the SEC at the beginning of the weekend and announced that the Government was not ready to conduct the elections. Nimmagadda received the CS very well, accepted the Government’s version and their meeting went off peacefully.

Just a few hours after the CS left, the SEC announced the schedule for the local body polls. Actually, the Government expected the SEC to go back again to the High Court to petition against the Government’s non-cooperation. But, without taking any such predictable decisions, Nimmagadda gave almost a shock treatment and used the YCP’s weekend arm twisting strategy against itself.

Now, the game reversed and the Government had to go running to the court for getting stay orders on the election schedule. The Government’s lawyers tried hard to get stay during the house motion but the hearing is now postponed to Monday. Going by the fact that the elections were held in many places despite Covid-19 threat, it is quite difficult for the Jagan regime to get a stay on the Nimmagadda decision.

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No relief for Jagan Govt in house motion before High Court

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court refused to pass urgent orders in the house motion moved by the Jagan Reddy Government on the issue of panchayat elections. However, the court postponed the hearing to Monday. The lack of immediate relief from the court came as a minor setback to the Government.

Already, the election code of conduct came into force from today itself. State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar was sticking to his decision to go ahead with the elections. There were serious counter reactions from all sections in the Government but still the SEC was determined to conduct the elections as per the schedule.

Now, just like in many other instances in the past, the YCP Government once again challenged the SEC decision on the February local polls before the High Court. Since there was not enough time to approach the Supreme Court, the Government immediately opted for the house motion.

The local polls issue was already heard in the High Court. It was based on the orders of the court itself that AP Chief Secretary Adityanath Das along with other officials met with the SEC personally. However, the differences between the SEC and the Government remained unresolved.

The SEC had also accused the Government on record of deliberately postponing the local polls in order to hold the same after his retirement after March. Ramesh Kumar also blamed YCP MP Vijay Sai Reddy for announcing that local polls would be held after April.

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