VIJAYAWADA: AP State Election Commissioner Nilam Sawhney said that the election code has come into force in the state and asked political parties to cooperate with the commission for the smooth conduct of the mandal and zilla parishad territorial committee polls. The SEC said that a special call centre has been started in the SEC office to receive complaints.
The SEC called a meeting with leaders of political parties but the Telugu Desam, BJP and Jana Sena boycotted it to protest against the alleged arbitrary decision of commission to conduct the elections and announcing the schedule without considering objections. Sawhney said that there is no reason to halt the elections and the polls would be held as per the old notification.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, the SEC said that the list of candidates had already had been compiled. She asked all political parties to follow Covid-19 protocols during the election campaign.
The government, in view of the ongoing Coronavirus vaccination programme, had sought completion of the election process and collected the opinions of political parties at the meeting. She said that the election process had been resumed from where it was stopped and stated that there is no court order restricting the release of the election schedule. Delaying of elections would impact the vaccination programme.
BJP state president Somu Veerraju said that the party had boycotted the SEC meeting as it had been called after the election schedule had been notified, and termed the action undemocratic. Jana Sena chief K. Pawan Kalyan said the party had filed a petition in the High Court but the SEC without considering it had released the election schedule, which was severely objectionable.
CPI state secretary K. Ramakrishna objected to the issue of the notification when the court was hearing the matter, and boycotted the meeting. Congress senior leader Sk Mastan Vali said that the sought a fresh notification and to conduct all-party meeting afterwards.
The YSRC, interestingly, had not attended the meeting called by SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar before the gram panchayat and municipal elections, but attended the one called by Sawhney.
YSRC state secretary Lella Appi Reddy said that Opposition parties are trying to avoid elections. He objected to the boycotting of the SEC meeting as an act of flinching from the battlefield. He said that they sought SEC to take measures for the free and fair polls....