Andhra Pradesh appoints retired high court judge as new SEC

Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday appointed retired high court judge Justice V. Kanagaraj as the new State Election Commissioner (SEC), a day after removing N. Ramesh Kumar following a row over postponement of local body elections.

The government late Friday removed Ramesh Kumar by issuing an ordinance to reduce SEC's term from five years to three years.

Kanagaraj, 75, served as the judge of Madras High Court. He took the charge as SEC on Saturday morning.

This followed nearly a month long row after Ramesh Kumar postponed the local body elections citing precautionary measures required to check the spread of coronavirus, triggering angry reaction from YSR Congress Party government, which accused him of acting at the behest of opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan on Friday issued an ordinance, amending Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1994.

The ordinance brought down the term of SEC from five years to three years,