Cong leaders meet CEC; Demands VVPAT in Palair by-polls

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has demanded that the Election Commission of India ensure conduct of free and fair by-elections for Palair Assembly Constituency in Khammam district.

A Congress delegation, led by Uttam Kumar Reddy, called on Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi in New Delhi on Tuesday requesting him to withdraw permission granted to ruling Party TRS for conducting their annual plenary sessions and public meeting in Khammam on April 27 so as to provide equal level playing field to all parties. He also urged the CEC to use ballot papers or Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) along with the EVMs.

“Democracy in Telangana is in serious danger and the ruling party led by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is indulging in demolishing the pillars of democracy and scuttling the spirit of Indian Constitution. The TRS is stooped down to such an ugly level to wipe-off the opposition parties through most undemocratic and anti-constitutional methods. We have experienced that TRS Government, leave alone not providing fair and transparent governance, but it is even stooping down to contaminate the very conduct of elections, which is the soul of Democracy.  TRS government had influenced the State Election Commission to remove statutory provisions, the NOTA option, from EVMs during the GHMC elections that were held recently. Our appeals in this regard to ECI and State Election Commission were unheard and none paid any attention to rectify such a gross violation of statute,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said in his petition.

Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged the elections in Telangana have become a big farce with ruling TRS misusing the entire government machinery including bureaucrats, government employees and police. He also alleged that the TRS Government distributed liquor, gifts, cash using official machinery and even intimidated those who opposed it. He demanded deployment of Central forces for Palair by-elections as he feared that the police was acting like a puppet into hands of TRS leaders.

The TPCC chief strongly objected to the grant of permission for TRS Plenary and public meeting in Khammam. “The TRS party, despite knowing well about the forthcoming elections, has deliberately planned to organize their annual plenary session with a malicious intent to unduly create camouflage and influence the voters with their massive dumping of publicity material, hoardings, billboards, cut outs of leaders, flags and buntings. TRS is attempting to spend crores of rupees and planning to mobilize lakhs of people for their public meeting,” he said.

“We are facing very peculiar challenges in Telangana due to the dictatorial tendencies of ruling TRS Party and elections in the state of Telangana have become a big farce as the ruling party is indulging in every possible ugly methods,” he said while alleging tampering of EVMs and manipulation of results in recently held by-elections and municipal polls.

“Unless ECI intervenes and rescues, there is no question of fair conduct of elections in Telangana,” he said. He also appealed to the EC to appoint Election Observers and Returning Officers who belong to states other than Telangana to ensure non-partisan functioning.

Uttam Kumar Reddy was accompanied with senior leaders including MPs G. Sukhender Reddy, V. Hanumanth Rao, Nandi Yellaiah, Palvai Govardhan Reddy, Renuka Chowdhary and Rapolu Anand Bhaskar and P. Sudhakar Reddy, Dasaju Shravan, Guduru Narayan Reddy, Niranjan among others. (INN)