Andhra Pradesh cites COVID, opposes elections to local bodies

Vijayawada Oct. 28 : The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday opposed the holding of elections to local bodies citing the danger of the second wave of Covid-19.

 Nilam Sawhney, chief secretary, met state election commissioner, N. Ramesh Kumar, on Wednesday and conveyed the government’s stand on elections. Earlier, two senior bureaucrats handling health – Anil Kumar Singhal and K. Bhaskar – also called on the state election commission (SEC) and explained in detail the threat of the epidemic still looming large.

 Sources said the SEC sought to know if the spread of virus came down as reflected in the number of positive cases coming down from 10,000 a day to 3,000. Officials said though the number of positive cases has come down, health experts across the globe have been warning about a second wave.

 The SEC sought the opinion of the state government in view of the earlier Supreme Court directions to resume the poll process in consultation with the state government. The ruling YSR Congress had already questioned the SEC move to elicit the views of political parties without consulting the state government, following the apex court directions.

 Kumar, in a statement, said the SEC was saddened at YSRC leaders casting aspersions on a constitutional body, avoidable in the best democratic traditions. Defending the list of political parties invited to elicit views, the SEC said the commission had followed the best practices of the election commission of India in all matters. Recognised political parties with reserved symbols are necessarily called for consultation and the SEC did not wish to deviate from this practice.



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