Vijayawada: Crisis has deepened in Andhra Pradesh after the government advisor for public affairs Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy accused State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar of terrorizing the officials.

He said that SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar's action against Panchayat Raj Principal Secretary Gopal Krishna Dwivedi and Commissioner M Girija Shankar was not in good taste.

Ramakrishna Reddy pointed out that the SEC has no powers to issue proceedings against the IAS officials using objectionable language. He can at most keep them away from duties, but using remarks that may affect their career is not in good taste. The powers vested in him are limited to polls and such remarks seem to be intended to terrorize the staff, he said.

"The SEC is trying to threaten the officials in such a way that affects their duties. It is inappropriate for a retired officer to treat other officers in such a manner. The SEC has been misusing his powers by trying to benefit the opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu. The SEC seems to be working in tandem with or to benefit Chandrababu Naidu who is conspiring to create a chaotic atmosphere," he said

Ramakrishna Reddy noted that the Central Election Commission (CEC) had released a consolidated electoral list on January 16, which at least takes two months to process at the village level. "Since the tenure of SEC Ramesh Kumar will be completed by that time, he was adamant to conduct the elections," he said.

Recalling the 2019 election, Ramakrishna Reddy said that TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu, who was then Chief Minister, also terrorized Gopal Krishna Dwivedi right in his chamber for being impartial in conducting state elections.

However, the same Chandrababu Naidu is now backing Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and using him for his vested interests. "SEC is vindictive towards the state government," he said.

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