‘Jagan should allow constitutional bodies to function independently and smoothly’
TDP national spokesperson K. Pattabhiram on Thursday said the ruling YSRCP was using COVID-19 as an excuse to postpone the local body elections while it was actually afraid of drubbing at the hustings.
Addressing the media here, Mr. Pattabhiram said that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy should allow State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar to carry out his constitutional duty, and cited the examples of Rajasthan, Kerala and Karnataka, where the High Courts had welcomed the decision to conduct elections.
The Karnataka High Court had clearly said that the conduct of local body elections was the prerogative of the State Election Commissioners, independent of the stand of the State governments, a view endorsed by a Division Bench of the Supreme Court, the TDP leader said. Similarly, the Kerala High Court had directed that elections be conducted by December 31, he added.
Mr. Pattabhiram said the Chief Minister should follow suit and allow constitutional bodies to function independently and smoothly.
“Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy may now start blaming the judiciaries of others States also like he has been criticising the A.P. High Court,” he said.
The process to conduct elections to the local bodies, which had tarted in March, had to be stopped due to the outbreak of the pandemic. This was done after consulting the Centre as there was panic in the absence of awareness about the virus that rapidly spread thereafter. But the SEC’s decision had upset the YSRCP government.
“Now that the virus case load is on the decline, the SEC is ready to conduct the elections, and even called for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue. The YSRCP skipped the meeting. The government now claims that it has not been consulted,” he said.
Mr. Pattabhiram said the reluctance of the YSRCP to go to polls at this juncture was born out of fear of being rejected by the people.
Referring to the Chief Secretary’s letter to the SEC stating that the conditions were not conducive, the TDP leader said it was far from reality. With the decline in number of positive cases, there should be no problem in going ahead with the election process.
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