AMARAVATI: The Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the State Government and the State Election Commission (SEC) to hold talks and resolve the issue over the issue related to the conduct of pending Local Body Elections on Tuesday.
A division bench headed by Justice Akukala Venkata Seshasai also issued orders instructing both the parties to conduct consultations in three days from the date of receipt of the order copy. The SEC should decide the date and venue for the consultations and the State Government should depute officials in the principal secretary rank for consultations, it said.
The court suggested that the state government can put forth its arguments before the SEC in writing and submit supporting documents related to the COVID-19 measures taken and the ensuing vaccination programme in the State.
It may be recalled that the Panchayat Raj Principal Secretary Gopala Krishna Dwivedi had earlier filed a petition in the High Court challenging the issue of proceedings by the SEC to conduct local body polls (gram panchayat) in February 2021 in the state. The High Court instructed that both sides should solve the issue and that the orders would be pronounced on Tuesday.
The statements of Advocate General Shriram on behalf of the Government and counsel N. Ashwini Kumar on behalf of the Election Commissioner were recorded. The Judge said that both the parties need to resolve the issue amicably through consultations in the light of the Supreme Court orders and keeping in view of public interest in mind.
When asked if anything else needed to be added, the government pleader Chintala Suman requested the court to allow the state government to raise the issue of the month fixed by the SEC to conduct local body polls and the Centre’s move to conduct the dry run for Covid-19 vaccination programme in AP. The court made it clear that the State Government should take up all such issues before the SEC during the consultations.