SEC does not need government consent for local body elections, says Yanamala

TDP Polit Bureau member and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Yanamala Ramakrishnudu on Friday demanded that the local body elections, which had been stopped midway due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in March, be conducted immediately.

Also, the elections should be conducted afresh, he said in a statement on Friday.

Mr. Ramakrishnudu said the State Election Commission (SEC) was an independent constitutional institution, whose authority and decision-making could not be questioned.

The State government was undermining the election-related laws as well as the Constitution by challenging the autonomy of the State Election Commissioner.

The government’s non-cooperation was tantamount to violating the Article 243 K and 243 Z (A) of the Constitution.

The arguments being put forth by the government were unacceptable he said. The SEC was required to consult the government, but that did not mean he should take consent before holding the elections, he added.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and the Chief Secretary had no moral right to interfere with the decisions of the SEC.

“The Chief Secretary has no locus standi to tell the SEC that elections cannot be held,” Mr. Ramakrishnudu said.

“Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy is afraid of his party’s certain defeat if the elections are held in a free and fair manner,” the TDP leader said.

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