VIJAYAWADA: In a swift reaction after State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar lodged a complaint with DGP Gautam Sawang about threat to his life following the utterances of AP Government Employees Federation chairman K Venkatrami Reddy with regard to constitutional rights, Reddy on Sunday clarified that he had only spoken about the rights enshrined in the Constitution during emergency conditions and had not made personal remarks against anyone. Reddy had made the remarks while strongly opposing conduct of local body elections.
Addressing a press meet here on Sunday, Venkatrami Reddy alleged that Telugu Desam leaders were distorting his comments although he had mentioned anything against the SEC. He hit out at Ramesh Kumar for ‘not caring about the lives of employees’.
Condemning the SEC’s hypocrisy, he said ‘The SEC addressed a press conference which was attended by not more than 10-15 people. Despite there being a distance of at least 15 feet between press personnel and him, he chose to be surrounded by a glass shield to protect himself. On the other hand, without paying heed to what the Government is saying, he has decided to call for the local body polls, thereby putting the lives of thousands of employees in danger. Aren’t our lives valuable?”
Reddy recalled that government employees joined Nava Nirmana Deeksha when TD government skipped Special Category Status and opted for Special Package and further joined Satyagraha Deeksha when TD government demanded SCS. He said that the SEC can conduct the election with the employees who are willing to work.
Questioning the timing of the notification, he said “If the SEC was so committed to empowering the local bodies, why didn’t he call for polls as soon as the tenure expired in 2018? Even now, all we are asking is for him to delay the polls by 60 days so that all the employees are vaccinated before they are asked to interact with thousands of citizens as part of election duties. We aren’t against the election. We aren’t for any political party. We just want to be safe’.
Responding to the SEC referring to elections being held in other states, Reddy said “Yes, election was held in other states but that was done at a time when none had a clue about when the vaccine would be out. But now the process to vaccinate employees has already started. Therefore, we are requesting the SEC to delay the polls by two months but to no avail. The SEC is acting at the behest of forces behind him.”