‘SEC has failed to properly conduct Andhra panchayat polls’

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday accused the State Election Commission (SEC) of failing to properly conduct the panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu alleged that the SEC has failed to exercise its powers in totality.

He claimed that cases were only filed against TDP supporters who were contesting the polls.

The Opposition leader claimed that nominations were rejected in high numbers in Punganuru, Rompicherla, Somala, Choudepalli and other places.

Naidu alleged that nominations were blatantly rejected to make way for unanimous polls.

He said that earlier they had sought SEC’s protection to the election candidates, but after they failed, we moved the High Court.

The TDP national president alleged that the Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy, himself undermined the polls and called for sacking him over alleged threatening to the officials.

He said that all the political parties have equal rights and opportunities and claimed that they will complain to the Election Commission of India (EC) over the pathetic conditions in the state.

Naidu reminded that the Governor should uphold the Constitution and if anybody hinders, they should be acted upon sternly.

SEC is headed by Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and believed to be a close associate of Naidu.

Naidu appointed Kumar as the State Election Commissioner after his retirement from the IAS in 2016, resulting in several accusations from the ruling YSRCP that he was working at the behest of Naidu for TDP’s advantage.

Since March 2020, the SEC and the state government have been at odds with each other, leading to a lot of unsavory incidents between the two entities.