AP SEC draws criticism for hasty action as he presses for removal of senior official

Hyderabad: A perception is that Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner (SEC) N. Ramesh Kumar is erring in his actions in an apparent eagerness to settle scores with the state government.

The SEC on Saturday sent a letter to Chief Secretary Adityanath Das repeating his instructions to move Praveen Prakash, principal secretary, out of the general administration department. He stated that Praveen himself has admitted that he had scuttled the crucial video conference with district collectors and superintendents of police that eventually led to a postponement of the Phase I notification for the gram panchayat polls.

The SEC also held out a threat to the Chief Secretary that not implementing his order with regard to Prakash would be judged as a deliberate affront to the commission, which has “consequences.”

Inquiries by Deccan Chronicle revealed that the SEC rushed with Saturday’s letter even without waiting for a reply from the state government on the contentious issue. He merely reacted on the basis of media reports. “The government did not send any official communication so far to the SEC,” a senior official said, adding the SEC had been acting on presumptions.

The SEC went on to say that Prakash had come up with an erroneous and ill-conceived defence and wantonly displayed defiance, instead of exhibiting remorse and regret. Maintaining that the commission rightly judged him as being unsuitable to hold the office of principal secretary, Ramesh Kumar reiterated that his continued presence even after his own admission of guilt will be prejudicial to the holding of free and fair polls.

Sources said Prakash too must share the blame for putting the government in a tight spot by writing a letter to the Chief Secretary without being asked and releasing it to the media.

The SEC jumped the gun based on the contents of the letter circulated in media groups and without receiving it officially.



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