On the 23rd of June, the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) Government, released a video of a secret meeting between N. Ramesh Kumar, the State Election Commissioner and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP.)
The video tape was released days after Ramesh Kumar was reinstated to the post of SEC after an announcement of the Andhra High Court.
Recently, the YSRCP Government on the 10th of April,removed Ramesh Kumar by passing an ordinance making amendment to the Panchayat Raj Act in the State.
The Party alleged Ramesh Kumar of favouring the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) by delaying the local bodies election in the State
The removal came after the approval of Bishwabhusan Harichandan, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, regarding the ordinance, which amended the eligibility of the new SEC.
On the 11th of April, the State Government appointed retired Justice V. Kanagaraj for the SEC post.
However, Ramesh Kumar opposed the decision, taken during the pandemic crisis and moved the Andhra Pradesh HC.
Later, the HC dismissed the ordinance passed by the YSRCP Government and asked Ramesh Kumar to join duty as SEC immediately.
The matter was dismissed with the decision until the YSRCP leaked the video claiming it to be a part of a big conspiracy.
The meeting was held on the 13th of June at a private hotel, Park Hyatt of Hyderabad, Telangana.
As per the guidelines of the Union Home Ministry, malls, hotels and restaurants are allowed to function following social distancing norms since the 8th of June under the Unlock 1.0.
According to the releases tape, Ramesh Kumar was seen with two senior political leaders of BJP.
The tapes show former Union Minister from TDP Rajya Sabha MP, Y.S.Chowdary, who recently joined the BJP, and former state Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas entering the same room where Kumar was staying.
After the video got viral, Mr. Chowdary said, “There was no wrong in that. It was a casual meeting.” He further added, “I don’t know why YSRCP leaders are trying to create a controversy with meaningless videotapes. The SEC is not a criminal and there is no rule that we should not meet him. Being close friends, we can meet whenever we want and wherever we want.”
Meanwhile, the YSRCP said, Ramesh Kumar was asked to maintain a neutral stance and keep away from active politics.
YSRCP said, “t a time when a case on his appointment is subjudice in the SC, doing this is bizarre and shows how brazenly he is being motivated.” The YSRCP further said, “Though he (N Ramesh Kumar) has to stay neutral going by his position and away from active politics, he was seen close to political leaders. A person holding a constitutional position, meeting political leaders in a hotel room, apart from his office is raising objections from many leaders.”
Meanwhile, BJP Member of Parliament (MP) Y.S. CChowdary said he would file a defamation case against the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh High Court.
Stay tuned for further updates.