19-03-202019-03-2020 09:53:16 IST
Updated On 21-03-2020 17:01:03 ISTUpdated On 21-03-20202020-03-19T04:23:16.685Z18-03-2020 2020-03-18T13:52:13.748Z - 2020-03-21T11:31:03.153Z - 21-03-2020
A letter purported to have been written by Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar r to the Union Home Ministry sought protection in view of the concerted attack against him after the announcement of the postponement of local body polls.
However, SEC Ramesh Kumar did not confirm that he had written any letter to the Union Home Secretary.
"There is an unprecedented assault on me personally and the State Election Commission ever since postponing elections on 15.03.2020 by no less than the Chief Minister who had attacked me in most vitriolic and offending language casting aspersions and prejudice in his press meet on 15.03.2020," the SEC said.
He appealed to the Government of India and the Home Ministry "to come to my rescue and provide a security cover through appropriate Central Police Force commensurate with the current risk perceptions". This would be necessary for the extended duration this Government which is "inimically disposed to me is in power and at the helm of the State with the vast of reach of resources and criminal gangs ready to their bidding. Their antecedents bear testimony to reach this conclusion painful as it is".
A State Election Commissioner writing such a letter for protection is unprecedented in the state, and probably in the country.
The SEC said taking a cue from the Chief Minister, it has become the daily chore of the Cabinet Ministers including the speaker of Assembly to heap choicest abuses and attributing malafides to him. The party leaders down the line, i.e., MLAs and other cohorts are mouthing most unbecoming, uncouth utterances against me, he said.
Stating that now the supreme court had upheld his actions in regard to deferment of local body polls, he said, however, the road ahead is a testing time beset with challenges and acrimony as the Government of the day lacks in grace to treat Constitutional bodies with due dignity and deference.
Pointing out that the directions of the SEC over transfers of erring officers were not implemented on the pretext of pending W.p. in the Supreme Court, Ramesh Kumar remarked that any let-up at this stage would completely weaken the erection machinery and demoralize the opposition groups who will be hard but to give a semblance of a fight. Needless to say, the stakes are very high for the ruling party to intimidate, coerce me and bringing me around forcibly to do their bidding which I am not prepared to do under any circumstances.
"I beseech you to act swiftly and provide me with security cover so that the balance phase of elections at least will be held with a modicum of fair play. I am determined to do full justice with no let-up to the Constitutional office of State Election Commissioner and to my call of duty and wish to adhere to rule of law and strengthen my hands in a timely manner," he concluded.
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