YSR Congress Party on Monday moved the Supreme Court against the decision of the State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar to postpone the rural and urban local bodies in Andhra Pradesh.
The Supreme Court is likely to hear the case tomorrow. On Sunday, Ramesh Kumar postponed the civic body elections citing the emerging challenges posed by the spread of coronavirus and that continuing with the election schedule may be detrimental and harmful to the public health at large.
Ramesh Kumar on Monday met Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan at the Raj Bhavan in Vijayawada and discussed the factors that led to the postponement of the elections. On Sunday, YSRCP president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy met the Governor complaining against the State Election Commissioner’s “arbitrary” postponement of the polls to rural and urban local bodies.
In the discussion lasting for about 45 minute, Ramesh Kumar is learnt to have submitted a detailed report on the commission’s decision to exercise its plenary powers under Articles 243K and 243ZA of the Constitution to put on hold the election process for a period of six weeks or till the threat of Covid-19 is arrested or declined and normalcy restored. The State Election Commissioner said his decisions were strictly as per statute and judgments of High Court and Supreme Court. Further, the election commissioner, it is learnt, has submitted a report on the incidents of violence reported across the state ahead of the elections.
Elections to Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies were originally scheduled for March 21. Nomination process for this has already been completed. Elections to municipalities, nagar panchayats and municipal corporations were slated for March 23.