Visakhapatnam: Minister for Municipal Administration Botsa Satyanarayana criticized the State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh for what he said "alleged double standards and working for vested interests".

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, the Minister said earlier the state government insisted on conducting elections in March to get the 14th Finance Commission funds, but they were postponed by the SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh citing COVID pandemic as a reason.

"When the cases were not even close to 30, SEC had postponed the polls without even consulting the government. But now when the cases are rising and there is a warning for second wave, SEC is trying to conduct elections," he said.

The Minister questioned SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh why should he not postpone elections for a few days. "Why he didn't hold the polls in 2018 when TDP was ruling in the state. While the Union Government announced to start vaccination from January 16, Nimmagadda Ramesh is trying to hold polls by risking the lives of common people," he said.

He said that the government is responsible for saving the lives of the people. "Though the Chief Secretary had made it clear about the polls, Nimmagadda Ramesh released the schedule on the same day," he said.

Reacting to the TDP's remarks that the government is afraid to face people, Botsa Satyanarayana said they are always ready for elections.

"But due to the prevailing Covid situation, the government is against holding local elections. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has taken welfare to the next level by implementing 90 percent of the poll promises, and there is no need to fear elections," he said.

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