By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Observing that re-sending the names of officers for posting as collectors to Guntur and Chittoor districts without making any modification as sought by it is an indication of dismissive attitude adopted by the state government towards the Commission, State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar on Sunday posted collectors to the two districts.

He asked the government to relieve the two officers from their present postings, and issue orders for them to assume charge as district collectors. The SEC posted 2011-batch officer M Hari Narayan and 2007-batch officer P Basant Kumar as the collectors of Chittoor and Guntur, respectively.

In a letter to Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das, the SEC observed that the cooperation, as assured by the government before the High Court, is not forthcoming as is evident in the matter related to the posting of collectors to the two districts. “Holding free and fair elections is as much a responsibility of the state. The principal secretary (panchayat raj) and the commissioner (panchayat raj), who is also the designated state election authority, have not chosen to visit the Commission as a part of solicitous visit. The last occasion when they visited the Commission was on January 27 after conclusion of a video conference,’’ the letter read.

Ramesh Kumar said: “Willy-nilly an impression is gained that the issue of posting of collectors is stonewalled by none other than Praveen Prakash, Principal Secretary, GAD. The Commission would therefore draw a conclusion that this reaction is retaliatory and in response to the Commission’s directives (twice) to relieve him from the charge of the principal secretary, GAD.’’ He added there is no alternative (for the Commission) but to place the matters before the HC as a contempt matter when the issue comes for hearing shortly.  He said the DGP has fully complied with the SEC’s directives. 

Stating that there is an urgency in placing collectors with impeccable credentials, he observed the Commission is satisfied with the antecedents of M Hari Narayan and TTD JEO Basant Kumar. “But if the state government wishes to post Basant Kumar to Chittoor and Hari Narayan to Guntur, the Commission is willing to accede to such a change,’’ Ramesh Kumar added.

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