The APSEC had argued that the colour scheme of the vehicles was similar to the blue, white and green flag colours of the ruling YSRCP.

AP High Court stays SEC order to change colour of ration delivery vehicles
news Court Monday, February 15, 2021 - 18:38

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday stayed the State Election Commission (APSEC) order to change the colour of the ration delivery vehicles in the state. The APSEC said that the colour of the delivery vehicles were similar to the ruling YSRCP’s flag colours and sought that they be painted a politically neutral colour. The court issued an interim order which will remain in effect till March 15.

The Andhra Pradesh government had decided to begin their door to door ration distribution from February 1. But with panchayat elections being announced and Model Code of Conduct (MCC) coming into effect the state governments are barred from announcing or launching new schemes.

To kickstart the scheme, however, the YSRCP led government filed a petition with the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking permission. The High Court while allowing the start of the scheme on humanitarian grounds had directed the APSEC to ensure that photos of vehicles, party symbols are not displayed on the vehicles, reported Times of India.

Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, the State Election Commissioner inspected two vehicles based on directions from the High Court and then issued an order to change the colour of the vehicle.

The APSEC argued that the colour scheme of the vehicles was similar to the flag colours of the YSRCP led state government. The YSRCP party flag consists of blue, white and green bands, while the ration shop vehicles in question also sport similar colours.

In the petition filed challenging the APSEC order, the YSRCP government argued that the delivery of rations on wheels was announced much before the MCC was implemented and even before the elections were notified. The state government insisted that the scheme is meant to supply food to the poor and that panchayat elections are held without party affiliations.

The counsel for the SEC had reasoned that the order does not stop the delivery of rations but only sought to change the colour scheme to politically neutral colours. The APSEC told the court they had received complaints about the ruling party using their party colours for the ration delivery vehicles, reported The Hans India.

The fiasco over the colour of ration delivery vehicles is the latest in the ongoing tussle between the APSEC and the YSRCP government. The tussle began in 2020 over the postponement of elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The APSEC Commissioner Ramesh Kumar was also accused of doing the bidding of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and even of being part of a conspiracy to bring down the YSRCP government with the help of the BJP. The AP government had even replaced Ramesh through an ordinance which was later struck down later by the High Court.

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