The Andhra Pradesh government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s decision. The government has said that it is impossible to hold elections at the time of vaccination.
Significantly, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday ordered the Panchayat elections to be held , while giving permission in the writ petition filed by the State Election Commission in connection with the local body elections. But the Andhra Pradesh government has approached the Supreme Court challenging this decision of the High Court.
Meanwhile, State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar had announced the schedule of panchayat elections on 8th of this month, but on January 11, a single judge Bench of the High Court rejected the order of the State Election Commission saying that the Election Commission decision to conduct elections of the Grama Panchayats simultaneously with the vaccination program is impossible to implement. At the same time, the election schedule was declared against Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. The single judge had said that the notification issued by the Election Commission for organizing panchayat elections would affect the Corona vaccination program run by the central government.
Later , a division bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court has given permission to conduct gram panchayat elections in the state .
According to a statement by the State Election Commission, the bench headed by Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami, quashing the previous verdict, cleared the way for Gram Panchayat elections in the state. “The State Election Commission is proceeding to the gram panchayat elections as per the schedule already notified. Elections will be held in four phases – 5, 9, 13 and 17 February.”
Following the court order, the SEC statement said that the model code of conduct has come into force, directing ministers not to be associated with the distribution of welfare benefits in rural areas, so as not to affect voters