In a setback for the YSRCP government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain its plea challenging the initiation of contempt proceedings by the Andhra Pradesh High Court for refusing to remove the YSRCP flag colours from government and panchayat buildings in the state.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishan Murari and S Ravindra Bhat did not agree to the submission of the state government on the issue, and rejected the appeal of the state government.
The top court noted that there is an order to repaint the government and panchayats buildings to their original colour, and this should follow within four weeks.
The Andhra government argued that the colours were not connected with the ruling partyâ€™s flag. However, the top court dismissed the contention.
In March, before the local body polls in the state were postponed because of the pandemic, the Andhra Pradesh HC had ordered removal of the party colours from government buildings, including panchayat offices, within ten days. It had also ordered their re-painting.
The High Court had sought an explanation from the Panchayat Raj Secretary and Chief Secretary on this matter, and asked the registrar of the High Court to begin the process for initiating a contempt case against the government by May 28, if it failed to take any decision.
The HC had earlier observed that the party colours could influence voters during election time.
Commenting on the issue, Leader of Opposition and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu said that YSRCP must bear the cost of repainting the buildings. â€śThey have wasted money on painting, and on advocate fees. Now they will waste money on removing the colours. Who gave them the authority to misuse public funds?â€ť he questioned, demanding that YSRCP must pay for the cost of removing the colours.
â€śThe waste public funds must be collected from YSRCP and the officials who allowed these mistakes to occur,â€ť Naidu said.