Amaravati, Jan 29 (PTI): After censuring two senior IAS officers for their alleged dereliction in discharging their duties, the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission has now sought the removal of Praveen Prakash, Principal Secretary, General Administration Department (Political) from poll duties.
In a letter written to the Chief Secretary Adityanath Das on Thursday, SEC N Ramesh Kumar alleged that Prakash was primarily responsible for scuttling a video conference convened by the Commission with Collectors and SPs on January 23 on poll preparedness.
'The State Election Commission invokes its plenary powers under Article 243 read with Article 324 to transfer Praveen Prakash, IAS, with a view to ensure free and fair elections. He is barred during the course of elections to have interaction with District Collectors and Superintendents of Police and any other officers who either directly or indirectly deal with matters relating to elections,' the SEC letter said.
Praveen Prakash also seems to have imparted instructions to Collectors and SPs as well as other officers not to participate in the Commission meetings.
The Collectors were apparently instructed not to cooperate with the poll process as well.
'As a result of the non-preparedness on the part of the District collectors, the commission was forced to reschedule the phase-I elections. This is a totally unconscionable act and merits serious action in the fitness of things,' SEC said.
Alleging that two senior IAS officers- Principal Secretary Gopal Krishna Dwivedi and M Girija Sankar, Commissioner of Panchayat Raj, failed to carry out their duties in preparing the latest electoral rolls as per January, 2021, for the ongoing Gram Panchayat polls, SEC had earlier censured them.
However, the state government rejected the Commission's move saying that the SEC has no powers to do so.
Meanwhile, nominations for the first phase of the polls began on Friday and polls will be held on February 9.PTI GDK SS PTI PTI