A day after the Election Commission announced the poll schedule, Andhra Pradesh’s two key opponents have brought their swords out
In Kakinada, while YSR Congress party leader Jaganmohan Reddy was urging voters to give him a chance, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu was in Delhi, petitioning the Election Commission to act against his key rival.
Elections to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and the Lok Sabha are scheduled simultaneously on April 11. YSR Congress has decided to contest all 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats on its own, while TDP and Congress have formed an alliance.
Reddy called upon people to teach a lesson to the ruling TDP which he alleged failed to fulfill the promises made in previous elections. He further alleged that the TDP harmed the interests of the state by continuing as an ally of the BJP for four years.
It was only near the elections that Chandrababu Naidu remembered people, he said.
The YSR Congress leader alleged that the TDP compromised with the Centre over the special category status. He said the TDP government was neck-deep in corruption and urged people to use the power of vote for a “silent” burial of the TDP.
Meanwhile, In Delhi…
Leaders from the TDP met with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Monday, March 11.
Cabinet Ministers Kalava Srinivasulu and Nakka Anand Babu, party national spokesperson Kambhampati Rammohan Rao along with Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar met with the CEC.
A representation given to the CEC requested an intervention to prevent the YSRCP and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) from engaging in unethical and undemocratic practices in the upcoming elections.
The letter stated – “The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which is an opposition party and one of the contesting parties in the State of Andhra Pradesh, with an intention to win the elections by hook or crook is resorting to illegal, unethical and undemocratic methods. YSRCP has joined forces with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is conspiring against the TDP. Given, the declaration of the Model Code of Conduct for the upcoming elections on March 10, 2019, the Hon’ble Election Commission of India is fully empowered to take necessary appropriate actions. The Hon’ble Election Commission in their powers can ensure that the names of all eligible voters are in the electoral rolls to ensure free and fair elections.”
This is the latest attempt by the TDP to counter the TRS on the data theft row. The YSRCP and the TRS have alleged that voter data was stolen by IT firms working for the TDP and that the party was using this data to get anti-TDP voters deleted from the electoral rolls.
The TDP, while denying these allegations, cast the blame squarely on the triumvirate of the TRS, YSRCP and the BJP.
Requesting the EC to act on the misuse of form 7, the petition stated – “YSRCP sought to delete eligible voters from the electoral rolls and include ineligible voters in the rolls. These applications were made in bulk and online by a few individuals through impersonation, forgery and by giving false particulars/information to the authorities. In most cases, the applicants in whose names these applications were submitted, were not even aware of the submission of such applications.”
The petition also sought to “take steps to prevent YSRCP from using their in-house media platforms, Sakshi Telugu Daily Newspaper and Sakshi News Channel, as a mouthpiece to publish and broadcast false news and programmes against the political opponents particularly the TDP. Lastly, take steps to prevent Sakshi Telugu Daily Newspaper and Sakshi News Channel from propagating the agenda of YSRCP which amounts to “paid news”.”
(With inputs from IANS)