Opposition wants cancellation of local body polls in AP

The ruling party found an ally in the Congress which demanded that the SEC not hold elections till the pandemic is over.

Hyderabad, Oct. 28 : The ongoing controversy over the conduct of elections to local bodies in Andhra Pradesh took a curious turn on Wednesday with several opposition parties urging the state election commission (SEC) to withdraw their previous notification and declare all those elections which went unopposed in several places as invalid.

N. Ramesh Kumar, state election commissioner, will also be in a fix over the demand of opposition parties as he sent a detailed letter to the centre explaining the large-scale violence and coercion by the ruling YSR Congress party leaders to secure the withdrawal of the rival candidates.

As there is no precedent of suspending the poll process, the SEC is learnt to have decided to consult legal experts on issue of fresh notification withdrawing the previous ones. “The unanimous election of candidates will automatically become invalid if the poll notification is withdrawn,” sources in the SEC pointed out.

Interestingly, the ruling party found an ally in the Congress which demanded that the SEC not hold elections till the pandemic is over. In a letter sent to the SEC, S. Sailajanath, PCC president, said that the lives of people were of paramount importance and polls which would invariably lead to congregations of people should be deferred.

Adopting a cautious approach, CPM senior leader, Y. V. Rao wanted the SEC to take into consideration various factors like the pandemic, agricultural operations and re-opening of schools before announcing the schedule. It suggested that the SEC not leave any room for controversies and take an appropriate decision in coordination with the state government. The CPM and Jana Sena did not seek withdrawal of the earlier notification.

Telugu Desam president, K. Acchan Naidu, apart from seeking a fresh notification and inquiry into malpractices and violations of the poll code, suggested allowing the filing of nominations online.

State BJP president, Somu Veeraju, accused the ruling dispensation of making a mockery of democracy by forcing unanimous election of its candidates. He also alleged that some bureaucrats joined hands with the ruling party and contributed to the poll violations.

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