AP SEC bars Guntur, Chittoor collectors from declaring unanimous results in local body polls

Amaravati: Taking cognizance of a large number of unanimous elections reported in districts of Chittoor and Guntur which is inconsistent with the state trend, the Andhra Pradesh state election commission on Friday directed the collectors there to not immediately declare the results of those unanimously elected.

The commission has sought reports for examination and intends to take corrective action in case of any failures.

Earlier on Thursday, state election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar said that the unanimous election advocated by the ruling YSR Congress Party was against the spirit of the Constitution. He said the democratic fabric would get strengthened only when more aspirants contested the ongoing local body elections.

In connection to the four-phased local body elections, the SEC reviewed the preparedness of the district administration and expressed satisfaction with the pre-poll arrangements. “There is an atmosphere in all the Districts of the State conducive for the conduct of free and fair elections. There are no visible instances of forced unanimous elections taking place in the state and the commission compliments both the district collectors and the police officials,” said SEC, in a note.

He also said that the COVID-19 situation is totally under control and all the safety precautions are taken as per the highest health standards.

The local body elections in Andhra Pradesh were notified to be held from March 21, 2020. However, SEC cited the COVID-19 situation then and postponed elections. YS Jagan contested the SEC’s decision, calling it unilateral and alleged that he acted at the behest of the opposition Telugu Desam Party.

A prolonged legal tussle followed, including an intervention by the Supreme Court, SEC finally declared that elections will be held in four phases on February 5, 9, 13 and 17.

In the first phase, gram panchayats under 146 revenue mandals in 11 districts will go to the polls, according to the notification.