Employees should be allotted for election duty as per constitution
Political situation may attract Article 356 in AP
AMARAVATI: Former Minister and senior TDP leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu urged Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan to interfere and ensure peaceful conduct of the local body elections in Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Ramakrishnudu asserted that it was for the Governor to make sure that the Government employees were allotted for the election duty. The Article 243K(3) was also providing for allotment of employees. The conduct of election was the sole responsibility of the State Election Commission (SEC) as per Articles 243A and 243K (1).
In a statement here, the Opposition Leader in Council said that the existing political situation would deserve invocation of Article 356 in AP. The Ministers themselves were expressing openly the Government’s non-cooperation for the SEC on local polls. Such statements were never heard before in the history of the State. The Government employees’ associations’ leaders were also threatening non-cooperation to a constitutional body like the SEC. This kind of a situation was not prevailing in any other State in the country.
Mr. Ramakrishnudu asked how there could be objections for the panchayat polls when the Government had gone ahead with the management of long queues in front of liquor shops. All round attacks were being carried out on the Opposition leaders and all sections of society. Even temples were coming under attacks. It seemed the Government would use Covid-19 as a pretext to postpone the local polls till after June, 2022.
Mr. Ramakrishnudu said that the Chief Minister was hesitating to face the elections out of fear of the public backlash. The CM began this ‘Jagannatakam’ (drama) only after losing faith in victory in the polls. The time had come for everybody to prevent the Jagan Reddy regime from causing a permanent constitutional breakdown. All steps should be taken for peaceful conduct of the panchayat elections.
The TDP leader pointed out that the elections were held in America, Bihar, Telangana and many other places. Elections were going to be held in Tamil Nadu. The AP Government was running the schools. The YCP leaders were mobilising crowds for celebrating the Chief Minister’s birthday. The Ministers were organising marriage functions. But, they were giving lame excuses for the local polls in the name of the virus.
Referring to Article 243K(3), Mr. Ramakrishnudu said that the Governor of a state shall, when so requested by the State Election Commission, make available to the SEC such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the SEC. As such, if the SEC makes a plea, the Governor had an obligation to allot the Government employees to carry out the election duty.