AP Chief Electoral Officer Gopala Krishna Dwivedi has issued orders to District Collectors and Electoral Officers to attend a review meeting to be held by Chief Secretary LV Subrahmanyam on Wednesday. In fact, Dwivedi is himself the actual officer concerned to conduct such a review meeting. But he is permitting Chief Secretary to supersede his powers and take his place to review the preparedness of election staff for counting day.
These developments have triggered debates within the civil services officers in Secretariat and among District Collectors. They are asking whether this is correct on the part of Subrahmanyam to violate election code. As the code is still in force, it is CEO who is vested with all the powers and even District Collectors are just Returning Officers who have to report to CEO.
Former CS Anil Chandra Punetha used to just attend reviews held by CEO and he never interfered with the election process. But this is obviously not the case with the present Chief Secretary. The emerging developments left many civil servants wondering as to how they have to react and respond to the commands of their superiors. There are also allegations that the politicisation of the Election Commission has thrown AP administration into total confusion right now.
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