AP poll reduced to a farce: Chandrababu Naidu

Ch.R.S. Sarma Vijayawada | Updated on April 12, 2019

CM crying foul, fearing defeat, says YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy

In a scathing attack on the Election Commission and the Modi Government, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said at Amaravati on Friday that the election on Thursday was "reduced to a farce due to the utter ineptitude of the Election Commission and the conspiracies hatched by the Modi government in connivance with Telangana Chief Minister KCR and YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy."

Earlier, late on Thursday night, YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy commented in Hyderabad that "the CM, after seeing the writing on the wall, is crying foul and blaming the Election Commission and everybody else to cover up his non-performance and failures. He will lose the election and he is searching for excuses."

Jaganmohan Reddy predicted a landslide for his party and thanked the voters of Andhra Pradesh.

On Friday, the Chief Minister said he had never seen during his political career spanning over four decades "such an inept and incompetent Election Commission. In the morning, the EVMs did not function for more than two or three hours. In some places, polling began at 1 p.m and it was scheduled to close at 6 p.m, but it went on till the early hours of Friday. People were forced to visit the polling booth twice or thrice to cast their votes as the EVMs were not working. Was it done intentionally or was it an accident? Why did the EVMs not function properly? Even the Chief Election Officer could not cast his vote, not to speak of others. It was just reduced to a farce, a mockery, to say the least."

Conspiracy: He said every possible conspiracy was hatched by "Modi, KCR and Jagan" to subvert the poll process and thwart the TDP from emerging victorious. "However, I thank the people who came from far and wide, waited for hours and voted in large numbers. I am sure the TDP will emerge victorious. However, I have serious doubts over the way the poll has been conducted. I am going to New Delhi on Saturday to lodge my protest with the Chief Election Commissioner. My party MPs and ministers will accompany me. We will stage a demonstration, if necessary. I shall go to every part of the country and expose the conspiracy. We must save our great state and nation from this duo of Modi and Shah," he said.

Doubts over EVMs: Expressing serious doubts over the EVMs, he said, "We cannot trust them. There are too many serious problems and issues with the EVMs, which we have brought to the notice of the Government, the Election Commission and even the Supreme Court, but in vain. They are simply brushed aside. The EVMs, we suspect, are susceptible to manipulation and the BJP is utterly unscrupulous. The TDP is not the only party expressing doubts over the EVMs. There are more than 20 others."

In response to a question as to why he was raising doubts over EVMs now, and not in 2014 when his party won the election in alliance with the BJP, he responded, "As you say, I have won some elections and lost some. You win some and you lose some. Even now I am confident of winning this one, in spite of all the conspiracies. But that does not make the poll process right. I am raising the issue of EVMs to ensure that there is a fair and free system of polls. I want to save democracy in this country from the likes of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Jagan."

Referring to incidents of violence in the state, he said the incidents were pre-planned and they were perpetrated by the YSR Congress Party and the Election Commission helped him in the process. "On false and frivolous complaints lodged by Vijayasai Reddy, the YSR Congress leader, the Election Commission transferred police officials as it wished and even the Chief Secretary was transferred and a covert of Jaganmohan Reddy was posted as the Chief Secretary. To cap it all, on poll day, when the DGP was reviewing the law and order situation, the Chief Secretary went to meet him. It is quite amazing, every institution in the country is being subverted," he alleged.

Describing Jaganmohan Reddy as "a habitual liar and a conspirator", he alleged that Jagan had rushed back to Hyderabad to his "Lotus Pond" residence in that city to conspire with the Telangana Chief Minister. "This man does not bother to stay in the state even on election day and he aspires to rule the state by remote control from Telangana with the blessings of Telangana Chief Minister KCR and Prime Minister Modi. More than 30 grave criminal cases, including several serious economic offenses, are pending against him. He simply blames me and the Congress for those cases," he alleged.

The poll percentage in the state, which was expected to touch or cross 80, was subsequently put at 76 per cent. Two persons lost their lives in violent incidents and several were injured. Even on Friday, there was some tension and violence in one or two districts such as Kurnool and Guntur. The authorities said efforts were being made to bring the situation under control. In some areas, a re-poll may be ordered. There is still uncertainty on the issue.


Published on April 12, 2019

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