In what is being viewed as another row between governor ESL Narasimhan and AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, a file pertaining to the appointment of the state election commissioner has been held back by the Raj Bhavan.
According to a report in the Times of India, Naidu had sent a file to the governor seeking appointment of Chittaranjan Das Biswal, retired IAS officer and former chairman of AP Public Service Commission, as the next state election commissioner. However, the Governor questioned the eligibility of Biswal for the post and conveyed his reservations and held the file.
The Raj Bhavan is arguing that Article 319 B of the Constitution of India dictates that the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or any other member of the Union Public Service Commission but not under the Government of India or a state.
However, the Naidu government has defended itself and alleged that the governor did not intervene when the TRS government appointed former APPSC chairman Pervaram Ramulu as the chairman of Telangana Tourism Development Corporation.
The TOI report further adds:
Satya Prakash Tucker, who is the officiating chief secretary, sent the file to the Narasimhan three days ago, but the governor refused to approve the appointment... There are also some other issues that may come in the way of Biswal's appointment.The state election commissioner is a constitutional post and it has always been filled up by chief secretary-rank officers.
This is not the first time that the Andhra chief minister and the common governor are having a face-off, as they share a history.
The relationship between Narsimhan and Naidu has slowly been deteriorating and the latter as also alleged the former of bias towards Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.