Vijayawada: Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu came down on the Election Commission alleging that it has become a big hurdle to resolve the issues of people. He wrote a letter to the Election Commission of India, seeking exemption of the election code in cyclone affected areas to take precautionary and relief measures. He said that the EC had failed to stall reviews conducted by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, while objecting to the same in AP. He said that the Election Commission has the limited role of conducting free and fair elections. It should not try to control the state administration. He said that both institutions should respect each other.
Mr Naidu said that earlier too, he had written a letter to the EC, seeking relaxation to resolve the drinking water and other issues, but there was no response. He said that on Wednesday he wrote a fresh letter to the EC, seeking exemption of the election code in Srika-kulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts. He stated that high alert was already declared in the four coastal districts. He stated that exemption from the election code was given to cyclone-affected areas in Odisha state, hence he was seeking an exemption in AP state to help face the cyclone.
Mr Naidu said that people demand accountability in the election process. He said that the Election Commission took 72 days to conduct elections and it will be delayed for a further two days if it agrees to count 50 per cent VVPATs. He said that counting of VVPAT slips is necessary to clear the doubts of people. He ruled out claims of the EC about taking six to seven days to count 100 per cent VVPATs and claimed that it will take another four to seven hours. He alleged that `9,000 crore was spent on VVPATs but this was of no use as the EC was reluctant to count VVPAT slips.
Mr Naidu said that he was demanding transparency in the use of EVMs. He said that malfunctioning of EVMs was reported in West Bengal, MP, Odisha and other non-BJP ruled states. He said that there was an attempt to reduce polling percentage through malfunctioning EVMs and arson. He stated that the BJP’s name was visible under the lotus symbol on EVMs. Twenty-three parties had filed complaints with the EC on the lapses of the Election Commission. All parties had demanded 50 per cent VVPAT slips counting, but in vain....