With YSRCP and TDP winning nearly equal wards, YSRCP members have been stalling the chairman election, after the court allowed TDP MP Kesineni Nani to vote as an ex-officio member.

Andhra’s Kondapalli municipality chairman election held on HC order after much delayImage for representation/Wikimedia Commons
news Election Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 17:25

The election for the chairman and vice-chairman of Kondapalli Municipality in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh was held on Wednesday, November 24 as per the direction of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The State Election Commission completed the poll process amid tight security. However, as per the court orders, the result was not declared. TDP ward members reached the municipal office under the leadership of Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani while ward members of the YSRCP were led by MLA Vasanta Krishna Prasad.

The election was not conducted earlier on Monday and Tuesday. Ward members of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Kesineni Nani had approached the High Court seeking direction to the Assistant Election Officer to conduct the election without further delay. The court had observed that the election was apparently postponed not to implement its orders allowing MP Kesineni Nani to vote in the election as an ex-officio member. On Friday, November 19, the high court had directed the State Election Commission to allow TDP MP Kesineni Nani to vote as an ex-officio member. Kesineni Nani’s lawyer had argued that according to the Andhra Pradesh Municipalities Act, an MP can choose a municipality of their choice to be the ex-officio member. 

Justice D Ramesh had summoned Vijayawada police commissioner (in charge) G Pala Raju and Assistant Election Officer Shivanarayana Reddy. When Shivanarayana Reddy said the situation was not suitable to conduct the election, the judge asked him why he did not seek the help of police. After issuing the direction to conduct the election on Wednesday, the court adjourned the case hearing to November 25. The poll panel was directed not to announce poll results till further orders.

In the municipal elections held last week, ruling YSRCP and TDP had won 14 wards each. However, TDP's strength rose to 15 as independent ward member K Srilakshmi joined the party. The newly elected ward members were scheduled to elect the chairman and vice-chairman on Monday. With MLA Krishna Prasad eligible to cast his vote as ex-officio member, YSRCP's tally had gone up to 15. However, YSRCP members stalled the election on Monday on the grounds that the Vijayawada MP can't participate in the voting. The High Court allowed Kesineni Nani to cast his vote but will rule later on the validity of his vote.

In the recent elections held for 13 urban local bodies, YSRCP had swept the polls winning 11 of them with a clear majority. TDP won Darsi municipality in Prakasam district while the result was tied in Kondapalli.

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