Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu questioned whether the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was above the Constitution and asserted that by implementing the code as per its whims and fancies, the Election Commission of India (ECI) was endangering democracy. He insisted that the present government was not a ‘caretaker’ but a ‘people’s government’ was exercising its legitimate powers.
In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Ramakrishnudu pointed out that there were no restrictions on the Cabinet and other review meetings held by the Central government but when Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu took stock of the administrative affairs, he was faulted. This was nothing but robbing the autonomy of non-BJP governments. The MCC appeared to be applicable only to these State governments. In Andhra Pradesh, the Chief Secretary, who was appointed by the ECI was poking his nose in the decisions taken by the Cabinet, he observed.
Mr. Ramakrishnudu said Mr. L.V. Subrahmanyam was not posted by the State government but by the ECI to monitor and supervise the conduct of elections but he was apparently acting on his own. His appointment was a stop-gap arrangement and what was the ECI doing when he crossed his limits, the Minister asked.
Citing the danger posed by cyclone Fani, Mr. Ramakrishnudu questioned who, the Modi government, the ECI or CS, would bear the responsibility if it causes devastation. Obviously, the CM must keep a close watch on the cyclone and issue necessary instructions to the officials concerned. Similarly, the CM was absolutely within his powers to inquire about the progress of the Polavaram project, he added.