TDP politburo member Varla Ramaiah on Tuesday tried to douse off political fire that erupted following Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar’s meeting with BJP leaders in a star hotel in Hyderabad.
The senior TDP leader unleashed a broadside against the YSRCP leaders stating that there was nothing wrong if Ramesh Kumar met BJP RS member Sujana Chowdary and former minister Kamineni Srinivas at Park Hyatt in Hyderabad. “Is Sujana Chowdhary or Kamineni Srinivas anti-social elements. Are they terrorists? What is wrong if Ramesh Kumar met the two leaders,” Ramaiah questioned.
He said Ramesh Kumar met Kamineni Srinivas to discuss the case with the BJP leader as he was one of the petitioner’s who challenged the Andhra Pradesh government’s ordinance that cut short the tenure of SEC to three years from five. “The High Court ordered the Andhra Pradesh government to reinstate Ramesh Kumar. Instead of reinstating Ramesh Kumar, the Andhra Pradesh government had undermined the judiciary by dishonouring the court’s directive. In a sheer display of defiance, the Jagan government had moved the Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court, the Andhra Pradesh government had to swallow a bitter pill after the apex court observed that the government cannot play with constitutional functionaries and declined to give a stay to HC order of reinstating Ramesh Kumar. Despite the SC order, the government has not reinstated Ramesh Kumar. Ramesh Kumar’s so-called meeting with the BJP leaders comes in this backdrop,” Ramaiah lashed out.
Further, the senior TDP leader stated that Ramesh Kumar met the senior BJP leaders to apprise the situation to their central leadership with the Jagan government repeatedly undermining the court verdicts and constitutional bodies. “How did Sakshi TV, the mouthpiece of Jagan’s YSRCP, get hold of the CCTV footage? How did the CCTV footage from Park Hyatt leak? Obviously, it is a selective leak which is a breach of privacy. Further, there are no cases against the three people in question who had a private meeting in Park Hyatt. They are not terrorists. They are not accused, no criminal cases are pending against them. So, what is wrong if they meet,” Ramaiah questioned the YSRCP leaders.
Ramaiah’s comments come in the wake of the meeting of Sujana Chowdary and Kamineni Srinivas with Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar in Park Hyaat which has triggered a political row.
The meeting at Park Hyatt gave much needed ammo to the YSRCP government to attack Ramesh Kumar. Earlier in the day, CCTV Footage showed Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, Sujana Chowdary and Kamineni Srinivas walking into Park Hyatt separately. They then walked into a room in the hotel where they huddled for more than one hour. After the one hour meeting, the CCTV footage showed all the three walking out of the room separately. The meeting raised questions on whether a constitutional functionary can meet political leaders, especially when Ramesh Kumar’s case is pending in the Supreme Court.
In an act of political vendetta, Ramesh Kumar was removed as SEC after he put off civic body polls citing Coronavirus. The Andhra Pradesh government promulgated an ordinance which had cut short the tenure of SEC to three years from five years and in a tearing hurry appointed former Tamil Nadu judge Kangaraju as SEC.
The move was challenged in the AP High Court which had reinstated Ramesh Kumar as SEC. On it’s part, the Jagan government had filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court which had observed that the government cannot play with constitutional functionaries while turning down the plea to stay HC order reinstating Ramesh Kumar. Currently, the case is pending in the SC.
After the HC verdict reinstating Ramesh Kumar, Rajya Sabha MP Sujana Chowdhury said Jagan had brought shame to the AP government and dragged its prestige to the streets.
“Where was the necessity to bring an amendment through the back-door (in the form of an ordinance) to change the term and eligibility of the SEC? The Jagan government received a massive mandate of 151 seats in the Assembly, now this does not mean that the government will disregard the constitutional framework and democratic norms,” he had said.
Further, Sujana Chowdhury said, “It is high time Jagan realised that his government should work within the constitutional framework and that his government cannot stretch beyond its limitations and should uphold the dignity of judiciary. He should come out of his monarch mindset and focus on the welfare of the state. At least now, he should put politics aside and seriously work towards putting the wheels of the economy on the right path.”