VIJAYAWADA: Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister Botcha Satyanarayana has condemned the letter purportedly written by State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar to the Governor regarding the conduct of local body elections. The minister said that the SEC, which “colluded with” the Opposition party and its chief N Chandrababu Naidu, has no power or moral right to question or talk about the decisions taken by the State legislative Assembly.
Speaking to the media from YSRC party’s central office in Tadepalli on Sunday, the minister sought to know why the SEC did not release the letter officially if he indeed wrote it on Saturday. He added that the government, with a responsibility, passed a resolution in the Assembly that it was not conducive to hold local body elections in February due to the impending risk of second wave of COVID-19 transmission. “Even the Prime Minister has recently said it would take a few months time for the vaccination. What is the hurry now? The elections in Bihar were a necessity. When we requested for polls as it was necessary, the SEC unilaterally postponed it when there were no COVID-19 cases. If the SEC was really concerned about his duties, why didn’t he conduct it when it was actually necessary in 2018 when the 14th commission’s funds were at the risk of not being released?” he questioned.
He alleged that the SEC colluded with the Opposition party. “What Naidu tells the previous night, the SEC repeats it in the following morning, or what the SEC says in the evening will be echoed by Naidu the next morning. Everybody saw in the last six months how the SEC unilaterally postponed the polls earlier this year and his subsequent proximity with TDP and Chandrababu Naidu,” he alleged, asked who the SEC was to question the decisions of the State Assembly.
“We have taken the decision within the constitutional framework, giving importance to public health. But, it is unjust to collude with the Opposition party. When one is in a responsible position, he/she should adhere to the Constitution, keeping in mind the public interest. This is a sensitive time not just for the state or country, but for the entire world,” he observed.