AP: Nilam Sawhney to be new State Election Commissioner

Amaravati: Retired IAS officer Nilam Sawhney will be the new State Election Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh. Her first task is expected to conduct Mandal Parishad and Zilla Parishad polls in the state.

Governor of Andhra Pradesh Biswabhusan Harichandan has given his consent to the proposal of the state government and approved the name of Sawhney, for the post of State Election Commissioner, subject to her resigning from her existing post.

The tenure of present SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar will be completed by the end of this month. Kumar has been quite unconventional in his tenure from the last one year of his service.

His adjourning the process of local body elections on the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic just few days before the announcement of nationwide lockdown had infuriated the ruling party YSRCP in the state.

Resulting, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy himself accused the SEC of playing caste politics in favour of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Both SEC and the government have been involved in many legal battles which are yet to be resolved. The state government had also brought a new SEC earlier, however, Ramesh Kumar fought a legal battle and got reinstated.
Reddy had Sawhney first appointed her as the Chief Secretary of the state. Even after she is retired from service, Jagan took her as Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister.

The elections for Mandal Parishad and Zilla Parishad in the state which were adjourned by Ramesh Kumar are still due.
Ramesh, in his recent communique, said that he would not conduct the elections for MPTCs and ZPTCs and his successor will conduct them.

The YSRCP-led state government which has swept all local body elections– gram panchayats, municipalities, and corporations — wants to complete the winning streak with MPTC and ZPTC elections.