HC allows Andhra Minister Peddireddi to talk to media

Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday allowed Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy to speak to the media, reversing a gag order imposed by State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, which was also upheld by the Court for a few days.

However, the Court directed the Minister to refrain from commenting anything disrespectful to Kumar or undermining the State Election Commission’s respect.

Henceforth, Reddy can speak to the media, obeying the Court’s orders.

His advocate highlighted that the freedom of speech and liberty are fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution under Articles 19 and 21.

Kumar, earlier ordered the Director General of Police Gautam Sawang to confine Reddy to his home until the end of rural local bodies elections over allegedly threatening election officials.

This order was struck down by the court and now Reddy’s media access has also been restored.

A host of Ministers and ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) leaders have assailed the SEC for issuing gag and confinement orders.

Reddy, earlier undermined the SEC that he was ‘after all’ a retired Indian Administrative Officer (IAS) and should not allegedly exceed his powers.

With each passing day in Andhra Pradesh, friction between the state government and Kumar is increasing, leading to a flurry of orders from the latter and a verbal backlash from the ministers and legislators.