VIJAYAWADA: Telugu Desam on Friday accused the State Election Commission (SEC) of surrendering to YSRC in the first phase of gram panchayat elections held in Andhra Pradesh.
Making the accusation, TD politburo member Varla Ramaiah asked SEC to act independently and take stringent measures to conduct the remaining three phases of panchayat polls in a free and fair manner.
Addressing a press conference here, Ramaiah explained that in the first phase, the SEC had succumbed to psychological blackmail and mind games being played by YSR Congress leaders. Even Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy himself intimidated the State Election Commissioner in the name of caste and targeted his efficiency. As a result, the SEC could not effectively carry out its constitutional duties, he stated.
The TD politburo member further demanded that SEC disqualify MLA Jogi Ramesh for openly threatening people that all pensions and benefits being made available to them by the state government will be cancelled if YSRC candidates do not win in their areas.
He said the Telugu Desam is also dissatisfied with how the commission let go minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy even though he threatened to blacklist IAS and IPS officers if they cooperated with the SEC.
He regretted that the commission did not bother to appeal against the High Court order that provided relief to the minister. He pointed out that because of this, YSRC was able to ensure unanimous elections in 69 out of 83 panchayats in Peddireddy's Punganur assembly segment.
Ramaiah said minister Kodali Nani had behaved irresponsibly by commenting against former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. He felt this is owing to CM’s threat to take action against ministers and MLAs who are unable to get 90 per cent results in panchayat elections within their respective segments.