Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Adityanath Das on Friday wrote a letter to State Election Commissioner (SEC) N Ramesh Kumar and requested to resume local body elections once the total vaccination programme along with coronavirus management is completed in the state.

“Once this disaster is tackled with vaccination, the government would agree to any schedule of resumption of halted local election process. In view of the well-being of people of Andhra Pradesh state election commission may consider the request of the state government,” he wrote in his letter to SEC.

He also expressed the inability of the state government to conduct elections in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination programme.

“The state government has been presenting its difficulty in holding the elections in view of the invocation of the NDMA Act by Union Government and as the seriousness of COVID-19, which has affected the entire world. Subsequent to the above invocation of Disaster Act, Covid management is being undertaken with the guidance of the Union Government,” Das wrote.

He said the attempt of the State Election Commission to allude that the state government is advancing spurious grounds for not holding elections when a raging pandemic has affected people of Andhra Pradesh “is regrettable and would advise that reference to non-officials in official communication may best be avoided by Constitutional Authorities.”

Das asserted that “Government works on the rule, facts, and in the public interest.”

He highlighted that most functionaries of the state government would be engaged in the massive vaccination operation, being undertaken by the Ministry of Health, Government of India.

“The pandemic is tackled along with a vaccination programme being undertaken by the Ministry of Health Government of India and whole state machinery would be engaged in the massive operation. Most of the functionaries who would be engaged in conducting the local elections would be those who would be first recipients of vaccines,” Das wrote.

N Ramesh Kumar on Friday announced the schedule of elections of gram panchayats in four phases beginning February 5.

The SEC will issue the election notification on January 23 for Phase-I, January 27 for Phase-II, January 31 for Phase-III and February 4 for Phase-IV. The last date for nominations is January 27, 31, February 4 and 8 respectively.

Polling where will be held on February 5, 9, 13 and 17. Voting will take place from 6.30 am to till 3.30 pm. The counting of votes will also be done over through four phases.


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