TDP chief slams SEC over civic poll 'excesses' by ruling party
Decries 'wrongful rejection' of nomination papers of TDP candidates in Kuppam and other civic bodies
Mangalagiri: TDP national president N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday advised the State Election Commissioner to resign from her post if she could not uphold democratic spirit by ensuring free and fair elections to the civic bodies.
Naidu said the SEC was just watching as a silent spectator when the ruling YSRCP leaders were burning democracy in the state by committing all sorts of election violations. The SEC and the election machinery failed miserably in many places where the TDP candidates were threatened, intimidated and their nominations were torn.
Addressing a press conference here, the TDP said unprecedented election irregularities took place in Kuppam, Nellore, Darsi, Buchireddypalem, Bethamcherla, Rajampeta and other places. The returning officers and the police openly colluded to do favours to the YSRCP candidates. They went to the extent of using forged signatures to announce withdrawal of nominations of TDP candidates, he alleged.
He demanded the SEC to explain why nominations of TDP BC candidates Tirumagal and her husband were wrongfully rejected in the 14th ward of Kuppam municipality. They submitted both physical and digital nomination papers to the RO. They also sent their nomination papers online to district collector, SEC and High Court too. Rumours were wrongfully spread that the TDP leaders had kidnapped the couple.
The TDP chief said the BC candidates were now asking why the election officials and the police did not protect their right to contest. Tirumagal and her husband Prakash just went to another place in order to escape from threats and intimidation of the YSRCP leaders. Then, rumours were spread on their kidnap only to announce their withdrawal using forged signatures. What reply would the SEC give to this couple to whom severe injustice was done, he asked.
Chandrababu Naidu asked whether the commissioner of Nellore Municipal Corporation had any basic idea about the election procedure. He announced 8 divisions as unanimous even before the final lists of contesting candidates was released. How could he say that result declaration forms would be given to the winners? The election officers were behaving in shameless manner, he said.
Naidu said former minister N Amaranatha Reddy and other TDP leaders were dragged and manhandled on Monday night just for demanding justice. However, the returning officer made a false complaint. Based on this, the DSP concerned filed a false case and issued wrong statement that the TDP leaders manhandled the election staff on duty and also damaged the government property.
The TDP chief asked the SEC whether it was their intention to drive away all the TDP and opposition leaders away from the polling areas so as to help the YSRCP to do rigging. The compound wall of one TDP leader was demolished in Punganur on a silly ground. The YSRCP was using the police and the official machinery to strike at the financial roots of the TDP cadres all over, he alleged.
Naidu asked why the DGP had not taken any action against the attackers of the TDP office till now. The YSRCP carried out a hit and run attack on Dalit candidate Venkatesh in 14th ward of Kuppam. Despite threats and intimidation, he filed nomination papers. The RO said at 3 pm that his nomination papers were valid. But by 9 pm, the nomination papers of Venkatesh were rejected, he pointed out.