State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar is acting in an “arbitrary and despotic manner” in issuing orders against senior government officers involved in the conduct of local body elections, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, Adviser (Public Affairs), has alleged.
“The State government will stand by all the officers facing censure or being castigated by the SEC. The officers can continue to work without fear. The government will issue proceedings against the SEC orders. I advise the officers to file criminal defamation suit against the SEC. We believe that the SEC has crossed its limits in censuring or transferring officers at will. The SEC has entered into a conspiracy with TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu,” Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy alleged while addressing the media at the party central office at Tadepalli on Wednesday.
Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy also faulted the SEC’s stand against the steps taken by the State government for ensuring free and peaceful elections, which included cash incentives to sarpanches and ward members of gram panchayats elected unanimously.
“While we have taken this decision to ensure a peaceful poll and to reduce tension in the villages, the SEC thinks that the government is influencing the people. This is unfortunate,” said Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy.
Stating that the government had taken a principled stand on the local body elections in the context of COVID-19 vaccination drive, he said it, however, abided by the Supreme Court’s decision.
“We are confident of sweeping the elections and the people of the State are behind us. People are also watching the conspiracies of the Opposition in trying to create unrest by raking up communal issues,” he alleged.