The Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission on Thursday issued a notification for resumption of stalled poll process to the mandal and zilla parishad territorial constituencies. As per the notification, the election will be held on April 8 and counting of votes on April 10. The Commission saw hectic activity since Thursday morning when Nilam Sawhney assumed charge as the new State Election Commissioner (SEC). Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan selected the 1984 IAS officer from a panel of three names proposed by the state government, clearing the way for her to assume the Constitutional role. She then held a meeting with Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das and followed it up with all District Collectors and police officials on the poll preparedness.
Late in the night, the SEC issued the notification for resuming the election process that was deferred on March 15 last year due to COVID-19 outbreak. The notification for conducting MPTC and ZPTC elections saw legal tussles between then SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's government. The incident had led to a bitter battle between the two parties for months as they moved court and challenged multiple verdicts.
"The SEC convened a meeting with senior officials and also held a video conference with Collectors and District Election Authorities and reviewed the preparedness for resumption of the election process of MPTCs and ZPTCs. The commission, thoroughly satisfied with the inputs received from all officials, decided to resume the process," the commission said in a release. It said the model code of conduct has come into immediate effect in all rural areas of the state.
The SEC, infact, invited all recognised and registered political parties for a discussion on Friday at 11 am on the resumption of the poll process but it issued the notification ahead of the scheduled meeting.
There are 9,696 MPTCs out of which 2,371 seats were won uncontested, with the ruling YSRCP bagging 2,271 of them. Election will now be held for 7,322 seats. Of the 652 ZPTCs, 126 were won uncontested, all by the YSRC, and election will now be conducted for 526 seats.
(With PTI inputs)