The Andhra Pradesh government has recommended the names of three retired IAS officers to Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan to appoint as successor to current State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar. Former Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, M Samuel and L Premchandra Reddy are the three former bureaucrats recommended.
Nilam Sawhney is currently working as an advisor to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. She recently retired from service while serving as Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh on December 31, 2020. Aditya Nath Das, an IAS officer of the 1987 batch, took over as the new CS.
M Samuel, who is also an advisor to CM Jagan, is also serving as Vice-chairman of the Navaratnalu implementation committee. Navaratnalu refers to the YSRCP government’s flagship welfare programs, which were a major aspect of its 2019 Assembly election campaign.
Premachandra Reddy on the other hand has been entrusted with responsibilities with regard to the bifurcation of the state which occurred in 2014, in the position of Secretary, State Reorganisation, General Administration Department.
Once the Governor takes a call on these names and approves one of them, the state government will appoint that person as the new State Election Commissioner.
N Ramesh Kumar is set to superannuate on March 31, even as disagreements continue between him and the government.
The outgoing SEC said that there was not enough time for him to conduct the MPTC (Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies) and ZPTC (Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies) polls while the state government wants those elections also to be done away with.
The ruling YSRCP government is riding high on the recent landslide victories in the urban local bodies' polls. The government is looking at completing the MPTC and ZPTC polls as well once the new SEC arrives and proceed with the gigantic task of intensifying the COVID-19 vaccination drive.