Govt. will abide by SC verdict on local body polls, says Botcha

‘The SEC has timed the elections to favour an opposition party’

Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development Botcha Satyanarayana on Sunday said that the State government would abide by the verdict of the Supreme Court on holding elections to the local bodies.

Addressing the media, along with his Cabinet colleague P.Anil Kumar Yadav, Mr. Satyanarayana said the State government is empowered to decide when to hold the polls and it was the duty of the State Election Commission (SEC) to announce the poll schedule and conduct it.

He alleged that State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar had timed the local body elections to favour an opposition party.

The Minister also condemned Mr. Ramesh Kumar for his reported remarks that he would relook the Grama Panchayat seats. “The panchayat seats were decided on a unanimous basis and now, Mr. Ramesh Kumar is trying to go against the spirit of encouraging the unanimous elections in villages,” he said.

Public health

The Minister questioned as to why the polls were abruptly stopped then when the number of COVID-19 cases was only about 50 last year and why the SEC was ‘adamant’ on holding the polls now without having concerns for the people’s health at a time when the vaccination programme was under way in phases.

“It is unfortunate that when the matter is sub judice, the SEC is calling for transfer of revenue and police officers. He is behaving more like an opposition leader,” said Mr. Satyanarayana.

The Minister showered praises on Panchayat Raj Secretary Gopalakrishna Dwivedi, then Chief Election Officer (CEO) for conducting the 2019 elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assembly seats in a free and fair manner.

‘Attack on temples’

“Chief Minister Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy is implementing welfare schemes on a scale not seen before. Unable to digest his popularity, the opposition parties are instigating attacks on temples and resorting to political mudslinging. Probe has revealed that it was the men of TDP leader K. Atchannaidu who were responsible for shifting of a Nandi idol at Santabommali temple in Srikakulam district recently,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Satyanarayana laid the foundation stone for projects to give facelift to a Siva temple, Venugopalaswamy temple and recycling of water in the temple tank with the municipal corporation funds. Replying to a question, he promised to consider taking up of the outer ring road project in consultation with Mr. Anil Kumar.

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