The Election Commission (EC) tightened its grip by enforcing the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and avoided chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu from holding review meetings with senior officials.
The EC had circulated copies of the model code of conduct to every official in the state on Thursday as Naidu was getting ready for a review meeting with DGP and other senior officials on law and order situation.
The chief minister’s office had listed two review meetings on Thursday–on CRDA and Amaravati and on law and order. Messages were sent to DGP RP Thakur, home minister Nimmakayala Chinna Rajappa and chief secretary LV Subrahmanyam. All eyes were on this meeting as it was the first meeting between the chief minister and the chief secretary.
Meanwhile, as the review on Amaravati with CRDA officials was in progress, the EC had circulated copies of the MCC among officials cautioning them against attending any official meetings with any minister, including the chief minister. Some senior officials, who received the copies of the code from EC, alerted the chief minister, who in turn, canceled his next review on law and order.
State chief electoral officer Gopala Krishna Dwivedi cautioned officials in the secretariat that MCC is in force till May 27 and no official should report to the ministers or political functionaries, consisting the chief minister and home minister on affairs of security.
“If any such meetings are required, home secretary or chief secretary should hold such reviews,” was highlighted by the EC to stop the chief minister from holding a review on the law and order situation. To give clarity to the officials, who were attending or getting ready for review meetings with Naidu, the EC had circulated the copies of the code, particularly with reference to the role of the officials during the election period.
On Naidu holding review meetings with the officials, the EC stated: “The Election Commission has issued instructions to the effect that government officials shall not be called for any meeting other than the official meeting by ministers or political functionaries. In this connection, the Election Commission has also clarified that security briefings of the chief minister or home ministers, when considered essential should be undertaken by the home secretary or the chief secretary, who, in turn, should be briefed by police agencies. The instructions further state that in a case where police agency’s/official’s presence is considered essential, the chief secretary/home secretary may require them to be present in such briefings.”
The EC had also alerted the AP officials against attending the video or teleconference with the chief minister and other ministers during the code.