Vijayawada: State election commissioner (SEC) N. Ramesh Kumar has found fault with senior panchayat raj officials for failing to update electoral rolls being used during the ensuing elections to panchayat raj bodies.
He was particularly critical of panchayat raj principal secretary Gopala Krishna Dwivedi and panchayat raj commissioner M. Girija Sankar for failing to update electoral rolls, thereby depriving the right to vote to nearly 3.62 lakh first-time voters in the ensuing gram panchayat (GP) polls.
SEC justified his censure of the two officials stating it was his responsibility as state election commissioner to ensure that no eligible voter is denied her or his right to vote guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
He, however, maintained that personally, he has no grudge against the officials. In this context, he asked the panchayat raj commissioner to lead the video conference held with collectors and SPs, as he was the state election authority.
Ramesh Kumar, however, obliquely deplored remarks made by panchayat raj minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy. He said he has requested Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan to advise chief secretary Aditya Nath Das to restrain cabinet ministers from making adverse comments against the State Election Commission. It is the SEC’s responsibility to conduct polls in a free and fair manner, he maintained.
Incidentally, the state government has returned the censure proceedings issued by the State Election Commission without initiating any action against the two officials....