Andhra Pradesh Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar is out. The new State Election Commissioner (SEC) is V Kanagaraj, former Judge of the Madras High Court.
In terms of a controversial dismissal, this is right up there. Because the SEC has been changed even while the state is technically in the midst of the local body elections. The process for the polls had begun in March 2020 but Ramesh Kumar postponed them by six weeks, citing the Corona virus pandemic.
Miffed with Ramesh Kumar’s decision, Jaganmohan Reddy personally accused him of a caste bias while YSRCP leaders charged him with playing to Chandrababu Naidu’s tunes. But the government’s appeal in the Supreme Court did not pass muster and rightly so, given the virus outbreak through out the country, including Andhra Pradesh.
Kanagaraj took charge on Saturday, preventing any move by Ramesh Kumar to stall his appointment or challenge the ordinance issued by the Governor on Friday.
Jagan has taken care of two things in this appointment. Contrary to speculation in the local media, he did not appoint any retired judge from the Reddy community because that would have given his detractors a tool to target him, accusing him of the same caste bias. By bringing in a person who has served as a Judge in another state, Jagan also has sent the message that the new SEC will be impartial.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh