VIJAYAWADA: The Telugu Desam on Friday announced boycott of the MPTC and ZPTC elections in Andhra Pradesh. Addressing a press conference here, TD chief N Chandrababu Naidu said there would be no chance of a fair and free election and hence the boycott.
Naidu alleged that state election commissioner Nilam Sawhney was a rubber stamp supporting all the decisions of the YSR Congress government. “We will approach courts against the way the SEC is conducting the MPTC/ZPTC elections against established norms.”
Naidu expressed confidence that his party's decision to boycott the parishad polls would have a positive impact on voters in the Tirupati parliamentary by-election. He said Sawhney's predecessor Ramesh Kumar had written to the Union home secretary saying too many violations took place in the elections and that the YSRC leaders created chaos during the nominations and polling process.
“The new SEC did not take these issues into consideration before announcing the poll notification,” he said.
The TD leader said, for the first time in over 39 years, the party has taken a tough decision like a boycott of the ZPTC and MPTC elections. “This is because we have lack of trust in the SEC and we oppose the unilateral decisions it took in the past two days.” He objected to SEC action of releasing the poll notification “without consulting the all political parties”.
Naidu said the Supreme Court has laid down clear guidelines as regards SEC taking the opinion of various parties in the state before issuing such poll notifications. “The SEC violated the directives,” Naidu alleged.
Naidu said the TD has lost all faith in the SEC. “She did not even followed the court direction that the model code should be re-imposed four weeks before the notified date of polling. Sadly, the SEC issued notification on April 1 giving a little over a week for the polling, scheduled for April 8, and the release of results on April 10.
The former CM alleged that the SEC seemed to be favouring the ruling YCSR.
Naidu asserted that the TD has never stepped aside from fight in any election. “We will continue our legal fight and we have filed a petition in the high court against the SEC's latest notification.”
He said there were instances when AIADMK leader the late Jayalalitha resorted to boycotts not only in the local body elections but also in the byelections to the legislature. Even Jyothi Basu boycotted the elections. He stated the TD petition against the SEC notification would come up for hearing on Saturday.
Naidu compared the situation in AP to that of North Korea where dictatorship has “destroyed the country”. Its sister country South Korea followed the path of democracy and it is having robust growth and prosperity, he noted.
TD cadre disappointed with Naidu's abrupt boycott decision
A decision taken by the Telugu Desam high-command to boycott the ZPTC and MPTC elections has upset the party cadre in the two Godavari districts. The decision came at a time when TD cadre along with Jana Sena was getting ready to jointly fight the elections.
The TD and Jana Sena have worked together in Panchayat and municipal elections and won some panchayat and municipal wards in east and west Godavari districts. Now, they were aiming to give a tough fight to the YSRC and win some seats.
They were already meeting people and campaigning when TD chief Chandrababu Naidu made the sudden decision to boycott the coming polls. They said Naidu shattered their hopes of a win.
Upset over Naidu’s decision, TD state vice president Jyothula Venkata Appa Rao (Nehru), former MLA of Jaggampet, has resigned from the party post. He apologised to the party cadre at a meeting in the constituency. He said the party decision was unfortunate but would abide by the party’s decision.
According to a TD leader in Kakinada, many TD leaders felt the same. Now, Jana Sena candidates are also in a dilemma as to whether the TD cadre will support them or go over to the ruling party.