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Election Commission has lost credibility: Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday said the Election Commission (EC) has lost its credibility as "it functions on the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his office".

Raising questions on the poll panel's independence and impartiality, Naidu told reporter outside the EC headquarters here that the level playing field -- an essential attribute of democracy -- "now stands disturbed".

The Chief Minister was speaking after his meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief said officials in Andhra Pradesh are being transferred in an arbitrary manner and the Chief Secretary (Anil Chandra Punetha) has been replaced by a person (L.V. Subrahmanyam), who was accused along with YSR Congress Party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy in a case. He described the ousted Chief Secretary as an honest officer.

Dubbing the acts of the poll panel as "unfair", Naidu said the Election Commission has lost credibility among the people of the country and its image has been dented in their eyes.

He also alleged that the poll panel observer in the state has links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Recalling that all opposition parties had demanded for 50 per cent matching of EVMs with VVPATs, Naidu said that increasing that number from one to five by the Supreme Court is "insufficient".

Accusing the Commission of "misleading" the top court by saying that matching of EVM votes with VVPATs at 50 per cent polling booths would delay the counting of votes by six days, Naidu said the counting of votes when ballot papers were prevalent used to take not more than 24 hours. 

The Chief Minister stated that the government of India is interfering in the affairs of the poll panel, thereby destroying democracy, electoral process and the level playing field.

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