Naidu writes letter to ECI exposing biased nature in conducting elections

Naidu writes letter to ECI exposing biased nature in conducting elections
Highlights

The Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu has lashed on the Election Commission of India for conducting the repoll at five polling booths at Chandragiri Assembly segment in the State

Amaravati: The Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu has lashed on the Election Commission of India for conducting the repoll at five polling booths at Chandragiri Assembly segment in the State, in his letter to Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners on Thursday.

Niadu's complete letter as it is… "As Expressed earlier, I am writing this letter to strongly oppose the partial one sided and undemocratic motivated actions of the Election Commission of India. The decision of the Election Commission of India to conduct repolling on May 19th 2019 in 5 polling stations coming under 166 Chandragiri Assembly Constituency and 25 Chittoor(SC) Parliamentary Constituency. As we have been pointing out this constituency witnessed many complaints, on the removal of votes based on pseudonymous complaints of YSRCP activists. There was a conspiracy to remove the votes of TDP, depriving many voters of their right to vote in this Assembly Constituency, besides many other Assembly Constituencies across the State. It is highly regrettable and shocking the Election Commission of India has so far not responded to the request of Special Investigation Team constituted by the State Government, shared IP numbers of the computers, from where the pseudonymous complaints came.

What is more disturbing and painful is that the Election Commission of India set aside all the Complaints made by the Telugu Desam Party. Acting on the Complaints made by the YSRCP candidate, the Election Commission conducted repoll in certain polling stations. The ECI did not respond to the complaints of TDP that polling in the polling stations number 166,172,173,192,193,194, 310,311,323(complaint dated 12.04.2019) was full of irregularities that required repolling. It is the job of the Election Commission of India to scrutinize all the complaints and take a decision on the polling booths where repolling needs to be conducted. It is unprecedented that the ECI has now decided to conduct repoll in 5 polling stations, that too after the completion of the process of Re polling in some other poling stations on 06.05.2019. Normally repoling decision needs to be taken once and for all and is completed on a single day. How can the Election Commission of India conduct repolling also, in phases, selectively responding to the Complaints made by the YSRCP. Does it mean that Election Commission of India will conduct another repoll even after the declaration of results, if some more complaints are made. The actions of Election Commission of India are unjustified, partisan and violate its own guidelines and conventions.

It is highly objectionable and that the ECI has been sitting on the Complaints made by the TDP while selectively and promptly responding on the complaints of YSRCP. This trend has been observed ever since the election process commenced in the state. Whether it is the unilateral transfer of District Collector, Superintendents of Police, ADGP Intelligence, Chief Secretary and wilful inaction on the Complaints made by the TDP including the conspiracy to remove TDP votes through pseudonymous complaints. The ECI has adopted a partisan and one sided approach responding only to the BJP and its friendly parties conveniently ignoring the Complaints made by other opposition parties.

A trend has been observed that the ECI responds with lightning speed to the Complaints made by the BJP and its friendly parties; while the Complaints made by the opposition parties are not responded to even at snail's pace. In this context I would like to further point out that is highly arbitrary that Election Commission imposed a blanket ban on political parties' campaigning activities Indian Parliamentary Constituencies of West Bengal from 10 p.m., based on the complaint made by the BJP President shri Amit Shah. Newspaper reports indicate that it was the BJP and it's Hooligans that perpetrated the violent attacks and vandalised the Statue of national icon from West Bengal sri Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. But it is sad to note that the ECI preferred to act upon the complaint made by the BJP only, conveniently ignoring the complaint made by the Trinamul Congress. In a one sided and partial action, the ECI, exercising its powers under article 324 of the constitution, unilaterally imposing a blanket ban on political parties' campaigning activities in the state of West Bengal. At least an impartial inquiry could have brought out the reasons for the violence; facilitating truth based action on the perpetrators of violence. Instead, it is sad to see that the ECI decided to act on the complaint of the BJP only, as it has been doing ever since the polling process has commenced in the country strengthening the perception of general public and opposition parties that the ECI is toeing the line of BJP and its leaders. This arbitrary, one sided and partial action of the ECI violets the section 126 of the representation of peoples act 1951 which mandates all the concerned to stop canvassing 48 hours before the conclusion of the poll.

Further,In imposing the ban on the political activities in West Bengal, the ECI appears to have decided to end the campaigning at 10 p.m., probably to allow the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address his scheduled election rallies in West Bengal. Earlier also ECI allowed Mr. Narendra Modi to violate the MCC as per his wish and sometimes actively cooperated with him to further his ends. It is sad that the culprits of violence who were reportedly brought from outside the state reportedly by the BJP, that vandalised Bengal culture and traditions are allowed to go scot free, while the people of Bengal are being shown as perpetrators. Also the unilateral decision of the ECI to send the state CID chief Sri Rajiv Kumar a serving IPS officer of West Bengal cadre, on Central deputation without the consent of the state government, not only infringes upon the rights of the state government, but also violates the principles of federalism, besides being unconstitutional and violates All India Service rules. This is a dangerous trend, in the capitulation of the ECI to the diktats of the BJP led Union Government, badly damaging the constitutional structure of division of powers between the Centre and the States.

The ECI's wilful inaction on the complaints made by the opposition parties against the BJP, prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah; it's arbitrary and one sided actions in the states of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal in transferring the officials, conducting repolls, unilaterally banning the campaigning in West Bengal before scheduled time, and its selective action against leaders like Mayawati, while exonerating Narendra Modi for similar charges: clearly appear to have been done at the behest of BJP led union government. It's a fact that the ruling parties in both Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal; the TDP and the Trinamool Congress opposing the BJP both at union government level and in the states. raids by IT Department, and enforcement directorate are confined to non BJP ruled States only. The leaders of the BJP and it's friendly parties are not touched by these agencies. No action is being taken the leaders who are from BJP or support the BJP, is a Vindication of the fact that the ECI, is compromising on its neutrality and impartiality.

The fact that, ECI did not bother to take any action against Narendra modi and Amit Shah despite repeated MCC violations,is weakening the institutional integrity of the ECI and inherent strength of our great democracy. In this context taking unilateral action against the West Bengal, without responding to the complaints of Trinamool Congress despite submitting video proofs for the culpability of the BJP, reaffirms the belief of the opposition parties the ECI has surrendered itself completely to the BJP and its leaders.

To sum up, It is disturbing to see prompt action by the ECI on the complaint of BJP and Amit Shah in West Bengal, while conveniently ignoring the complaints of Trinamool Congress. It's more disturbing to see conspicuous inaction of the ECI on the complaint of 22 opposition political parties to validate EVM counting with counting of at least 50% VVPAT slips in each assembly constituency.It is shocking and disturbing that the ECI is conducting repolls in a specific assembly constituency also in phases ignoring its own guidelines. Giving number of clean chits to Shri Narendra Modi, taking prompt action though not justified on the false complaints of BJP and its friends, wilful inaction on the genuine Complaints made by the opposition parties; clearly raises doubts over the neutrality, impartiality, and fairness of the Election Commission of India. It is high time that the ECI acts on the Complaints made by the opposition parties also and restores its credibility besides fulfilling it's constitutional mandate of conducting free and fair elections. It is not only the institutional integrity of the ECI that is at stake but also the integrity of the democratic process of elections that is at stake.

Hence I reiterate my demand to the ECI, to examine every complaint of the political parties objectively and professionally, re-examine the request of opposition parties to count at least 50% VVPATslips to validate the EVM count, to conduct repoll in the polling stations as demanded by the TDP, to uphold the principles of fairness, impartiality, neutrality and conscience of constitutional mandate of the ECI."

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