Vijayawada: In a win-win development for the Andhra Pradesh state government and the State Election Commission (SEC), the Supreme Court verdict upheld the decision to postpone local body elections in the state but lifted the Model Code of Conduct with immediate effect.
A bench headed by chief justice S A Bobde on Wednesday upheld the decision of SEC to postpone the election for six weeks in view of the COVID-19 scare but gave relief to chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy by suspending the code of conduct restrictions till further notice.
This allows the YSR Congress government to stage a mega show of distributing 26.6 lakh house pattas (title deeds) on the Telugu New Year Day, Ugadi.
Chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy was furious with the SEC for deciding to postpone the elections without consulting the government on the actual COVID-19 situation in the state.
He called a press meet and lambasted state election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar. Further, the state’s chief secretary Nilam Sawhney wrote a letter to the SEC requesting elections as per schedule but in vain as Ramesh Kumar defended his action in a reply.
The AP government filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the SEC decision and got relief with the decision of lifting of the MCC ban. However, the apex court in its verdict affirmed that SEC can take decision when to conduct local body elections....