Senior YSR Congress Party leader and Srikakulam candidate Dharmana Prasada Rao criticised Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for attacking the state chief secretary needlessly. He faulted the TDP chief's statements that the CS, LV Subramanyam was violating regulations of the Election Commission of India. It was also wrong on Chandrababu's part to blame the ECI of acting against AP.
Similarly, Chandrababu was finding fault with PM Modi with whose party he had allied for 4 years and whom he praised more than anyone else in the country. Dharmana also reminded media persons that the Chandrababu-led TDP passed a resolution in the Assembly hailing PM Modi.
The TDP chief was constantly indulging in criticism of YSR Congress Party President, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in a manner unbecoming of his office. Similarly, he began blaming EVMs, Dharmana pointed out. Chandrababu was hardly behaving like someone with 40 years of long experience in politics and administration, he said.
Dharmana further said that the chief minister was completely lacking in grace. What was worse is that his obnoxious behaviour is attracting all-round criticism. Targeting the Chief Secretary is most undignified, the YSRCP said.
Dharmana pointed out that the chief secretary is not a rubber stamp to carry out the orders of the chief minister. As the head of the administration among civil servants, the chief secretary would peruse the ethical, legal and constitutional propriety of any file or decision, as laid out by the law.
The senior YSRCP leader flayed Chandrababu for his criticism of the chief secretary's reviews, adding that it was the duty of the senior most bureaucrat to do so when the Model Code is in force. He wondered as to how Chandrababu with all his tall claims of political experience was unaware of this.
Dharmana advised the TDP chief to study business rules on the responsibilities on chief secretary before commenting on the subject. He cited rule 17 under which the CS can call for the secretary and other officials and can also conduct a review on a suo moto basis.
Referring to the current chief secretary of AP, Dharmana pointed out that LV Subramanyam is an honest official with an impeccable record and was now close to retirement. A civil servant's reputation is something earned over his career, he remarked, adding that all senior officials were well aware of LV Subramanyam's credentials and integrity.
Dharmana said that the Election Commission is vested with the authority to conduct elections in a free and fair manner and has given the CS clear powers. The chief secretary is bound by the Model Code of Conduct, he pointed out.
While harping on democracy Chandrababu needs to look at the people around him who violated the Constitution. It was the TDP supremo who brazenly violated the Anti-Defection Act, while Speaker Kodela Sivaparasada Rao looked the other way and lowered the dignity of the office. This was a classic example of their democratic values, he said. Similarly, defying SC guidelines Chandrababu adopted the Swiss Challenge method for the construction of the new capital, Amaravati, he added.
Dharmana said IAS officers in Chandrababu's lexicon stand for I Agree Sir, but that cannot be the case. They should guide their political bosses on the Constitutional propriety of issues, he said. The senior YSRCP leader pointed out that Chandrababu is wrong when he claims that he will continue as chief minister till June 8. He recalled that on May 16, 2014 election results were announced and on May 20, the new assembly was formed. Politicians should not weaken democratic institutions for their selfish ends, he said. Chandrababu must remember that he is a part of the system which made him chief minister, Dharmana said.