VIJAYAWADA: Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy said here on Wednesday that the state government is seeking a peaceful atmosphere in villages and fraternal feeling among the people by encouraging the cause of unanimous, uncontested elections for the local bodies.
“The State Election Commissioner should say where was politics involved in this,” he said.
The minister said the system of extending financial incentives to Gram Panchayats that go for unanimous elections has been existing for decades. Why did the SEC not oppose this system when the TDP was in power? Why elections were not held in the time of the previous government and why the SEC didn't move court on existing GO, he asked.
The minister said the SEC opposing unanimous polls in a democratic process was itself a political conspiracy. Why is Nimmagadda Ramesh worried about the unanimous elections in Gram Panchayats and what's the necessity to speak about it before the nominations are filed, he asked.
He wondered how far it was reasonable for the SEC to speak out at a press conference on this matter and create an impression that a particular party will be benefitted by unanimous polls and other parties do not benefit. “He stated this even as he knew that local body polls are conducted on a non-party basis and without the involvement of political parties.”
Did any election commissioner in the past act in the way Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar did this time or make controversial statements? It was curious that Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu were expressing the same concerns over unanimous elections in Gram Panchayats.
“Can Nimmagadda Ramesh say on what constitutional and legal basis he made these comments on unanimous elections”, he asked, and suspected that the SEC was acting at the behest of some vested interests. “It was part of a political conspiracy that the SEC criticised the Information and Public Relations Commissioner for giving ads on financial incentives to no-poll Gram Panchayats.”
Minister Reddy said that the SEC’s actions against Panchayat Raj principal secretary Gopal Krishna Dwivedi and commissioner Girija Shankar were part of a political conspiracy. People would lose their trust and confidence in the SEC because of such behavior on his part, he added.