Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, after lashing out at Election Commission of India (ECI) for alleged malfunctioning of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the first phase of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, has written an eighteen-page letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) levelling a number of allegations. His list of allegations includes alleged unjustified transfers, disturbance in CM’s security establishment, paralysis in administration and many more.
In the letter, Naidu invoked the vision of the constitutional forefathers and wrote how they had envisaged that the will of the Nation could be best reflected by establishing strong institutions run by men of mettle and integrity. He then brought to the notice of the CEC what he called the “mala fide actions of the ECI” in managing the poll process in the State.
He alleged that government officers including Collector & District Magistrate of Srikakulam district, Superintendents of Police of Kadapa and Srikakulam were removed for no reason and the State Chief Election Officer was also transferred. He further alleges that the security system of the CM was destabilised by immediate replacement of Director General (Intelligence) of Police who looks after the security of the CM.
Naidu accused that the EC is acting according to the whims and fancies of the YSR Party, giving the example of how the Superintendent of Police of Prakasam district was removed a before the poll day and this happened soon after a YSR Party candidate from Chirala Assembly Constituency threatened that the SP would be transferred by the evening. He also accused the ECI of usurping the power of the State government by removing the Chief Secretary of the State and replacing him without even consulting the State government. Naidu alleged that all these actions were taken in a non-transparent and non-neutral manner, based on the allegations of the YSR Party.
Levelling serious allegations, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President said that the YSR Party sought to delete 7.5 lakh voters through pseudonymous cyber complaints on false names and IP addresses. He said similar tactic was used by the YSR Party earlier in the Telangana State which had resulted in the deletion of around 25 lakh votes for which the Telangana CEO had tendered an open apology to voters. Naidu said that the ECI did not act upon the request of the SIT, which was formed by the Andhra government to look into this cyber crime, wherein it sought the details of the IP numbers of the computers from where the pseudonymous complaints were made to the EC.
Alleging bias on the part of the EC, Naidu said that the complaints filed by the TDP are not acted upon while the “baseless” complaints of the YSR Party are acted upon. He accused the BJP of settling political scores with TDP after the latter quit the NDA. Bringing in the issue of raids, he alleged that BJP is using the YSR Party along with several Central agencies like Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Department etc. against TDP leaders.
He was not yet done with his allegations. He further alleged that while people waited in long queues at the polling booths to cast their vote, the EVMs did not work and after waiting for 2-6 hours people returned to their homes without voting. He then repeated his attack on the credibility of EVMs alleging that the machines are not tamper-proof.
Naidu also complained about the deployment of inadequate police force at the polling booths which resulted in many criminal elements disturbing the law and order situation and terrorising the voters. He concluded his letter demanding the ECI to revert back to the ballot paper system immediately.