In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar in his reply to State Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney's letter, seeking the conduct the local body elections as per the original schedule, stated that the local body elections will remain postponed.
The State Election Commissioner informed that he will only restart the election process after receiving advice from the National Task Force or the Health Ministry.
In his reply, Kumar said, "I am writing to you primarily to clear the misconception that the SEC is ill-informed about coronavirus threat and the financial implications for states. The State Election Commission is also neither alone nor ignorant. SECS are a very informed and proactive group and some of the approaches I have suggested have emanated from our active information sharing platform."
"I wish for early containment of coronavirus and after assured or advised by the National Task Force or the Health Ministry, wish to restart the election process which is assessed as a high human contact scenario, from where it had been paused," he said in the letter. Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Sawhney had requested the SEC to conduct the local polls as per the pre-decided schedule. Nilam Sawhney in her letter to SEC had said, "The situation is under control for next 3 to 4 weeks."
Andhra Pradesh Transport and Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah on Monday accused the State Election Commissioner (SEC), N Ramesh Kumar, for postponing the local body elections in the State on the appeal made by TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu. The Minister also alleged Chandrababu Naidu of employing double standards on public safety as regards to the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier on Monday, reports stated that the local body elections in Andhra Pradesh have been postponed for up to six weeks. According to the State Election Commissioner, N Ramesh Kumar, the new dates for the local body polls will be finalized later taking into account the Coronavirus threat situation in the country. Reportedly, the State EC also stated that the process of elections will not be cancelled.
(With inputs from ANI)