Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday urged the Election Commission to direct the state chief electoral officer not to “exceed his jurisdiction” and interrupt the state government’s functioning, PTI reported.
In a letter to the poll body, Naidu said the chief electoral officer made “absurd and arbitrary” comments in media that “the chief minister does not have the power to review the departments” when elections are under way.
Elections to the Assembly and and for Lok Sabha seats in the state were held in the first phase of elections on April 11.
“Since there is an unusually large gap of around 42 days before the counting takes place and results are announced, normal administration shall not be allowed to come to a standstill and crippled,” Naidu told the Election Commission. “The CEO’s reported comments are without any jurisdiction as there is no such provision in Model Code of Conduct that the chief minister cannot hold review meetings.”
Naidu alleged that the chief electoral officer also instructed the additional director general (intelligence) not to report to him. “I would like to know from the ECI, whether the reporting authority of Additional DG (Intelligence) is also changed by ECI and if so, who is his reporting authority, if not the CM,” he said in the letter. He sought to know if the polling body had issued orders prohibiting the intelligence chiefs from reporting to chief ministers in their respective states.
Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi, however, said he was functioning strictly as per norms, PTI reported. “I will not react to what the Chief Minister wrote in the letter [to the Chief Election Commissioner],” he said.
Dwivedi said he was not taking decisions on his own and was “strictly going by the book and implementing the CECs orders”.