Chandrababu Naidu complaints to CEC about irregularities in voters list

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, on Monday complained to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) over ‘large-scale irregularities’ in the voters’ list and the ‘blatant violation’ of the poll panel’s guidelines.

Naidu called on CEC Rajiv Kumar and submitted an 11-page letter. The TDP alleged that the ruling dispensation is mounting political pressure on the election machinery, not allowing it to function independently.

The former Chief Minister said that the ruling dispensation in the state has set up almost a parallel election machinery in the form of ‘grama’ (village) and ward secretariats subverting the polling staff and bypassing the Election Commission’s instructions.

He sought the intervention of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to strengthen the constitutional machinery in the state and ensure their accountability to the ECI to uphold democratic values.

“All of them work under the supervision of the nominated leaders of the ruling YSRCP. These staff members, numbering about 1.45 lakh, have been appointed as booth-level officers in place of ECI suggested employees,” he told the poll panel.

In an attempt to pre-empt the poll panel guidelines, the state government issued norms on November 29, 2022 removing the teachers from the list of the staff members available to the district collectors for the election process,

Naidu said that if this is allowed to be continued, the election process will turn into selection process.

Pointing out various violations in the summary revision of the electoral rolls, the TDP supremo made an appeal to the poll panel to initiate necessary steps to conduct free and fair elections scheduled for next year.

Naidu wrote that the TDP made several representations to the Election Commission with regard to the bypolls to the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat and in the elections held for the Legislative Council on various issues including revision of electoral rolls, but the poll panel attended to only certain issues while there was abnormal delay on several other matters. This delay, he felt, is due to the extraordinary political pressure from the ruling party.

Naidu also brought to the notice of the CEO that thousands of false cases have been foisted in the past four years against the political leaders belonging to rival parties though the leaders are staging peaceful demonstrations in a democratic way.

The administrative machinery has been silenced by false cases, transfers and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) inquiries, he mentioned in the letter.

Stating that the local body elections held in 2020-21 were almost made unanimous using political. And muscle power along with ‘brutal’ police force, Naidu claimed. That when some candidates ventured out to file their nominations, they were either kidnapped. Or were forcibly shifted to unknown places from the premises of the respective returning officers.

The officials were forced not to issue necessary certificates to the contesting candidates, he alleged.

The State Election Commissioner, an IAS officer of the rank. Of the Special Chief Secretary, was hounded, humiliated and publicly abused. In filthy language with Cabinet ministers taking the lead, Naidu claimed.

Naidu also brought to the notice of the CEC that the door-to-door survey is not complete. Yet and political parties are not provided with the weekly reports in various constituencies.

He referred to the media reports coming out almost on a daily basis that hundreds of voters. Are registered with a single common address and with zero house numbers. The deletions are either suo motto or through Form-7 applications without following due process.

Though the poll panel has issued directions that the voters’ list should be in serial order. Of house numbers and that all the members of a family be allotted. The same booth, no such formula is being followed in several constituencies, he claimed.

The party in power has chosen the election machinery to serve its needs, from volunteer. To district collector, making the whole election process a mockery of democracy, Naidu claimed. 

He also demanded that the teachers and other department staff members be drafted for poll duty. And urged the Election Commission officials CEC to make frequent visits to the state to assess the situation.

He also appealed to the poll panel to constitute a high-power committee. To regularly monitor the situation and suggest remedial measures.   

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