Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Thursday alleged that the ruling Telangna Rashtra Samithi was openly violating the model code of conduct for by-elections in Palair Assembly constituency in Khammam district.
In his letter to Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Nasim Zaidi, the TPCC President listed out various violations by the ruling party and sought the Election Commission’s intervention for a free and fair by-election. He reiterated the demand for using Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) along with the EVMs or use ballot for polling scheduled on May 16. “We have an experience with the ruling TRS party resorting to organized and planned electoral malpractices in the previous elections, which we have already reported to you. Hence, we did even stress upon on the need and importance of using VVPATs (Printers) or Ballot Papers in 113-Palair Assembly Constituency By-Elections to safeguard the democracy, in addition to the deployment of Central forces,” he said.
Stating that there were innumerable incidents of violating the moral code of conduct by ruling party candidate and R&B Minister Tummala Nageshwara Rao, Uttam Kumar Reddy feared that the ruling TRS party would not allow free and fair elections. “TRS would make every attempt to even tamper the EVMs and also indulge in distributing liquor, money and misusing government machinery, particularly police,” he feared. Reminding the CEC about the assurance that he had given to the Congress delegation earlier, he said so far, the ECI had neither made any arrangements to introduce VVPATs, nor deployed central forces to have peaceful conduct of elections in a free and fair manner.
Uttam Kumar Reddy thanked the Election Commission for immediately responding to Congress party’s petition by transferring the District Collector, Superintendent of Police and the Returning Officer. However, he said that transfers have failed to change the attitude of TRS Government, especially the police officials who are still biased and partisan and unduly favoring the ruling party candidate.
Citing instances, the TPCC Chief alleged that Kiran Kumar, Circle Inspector (Cl) of Police, Kusumanchi (His jurisdiction includes Kusumanchi, Thirumalayapalem, Nelakondpally Mandals); Anjaneyulu Circle Inspector (CI) of Police, Khammam Rural and Srinivas Rao, MPDO, Khammam Rural Mandal are acting in a partisan and biased manner. “They are trying to help the Thummala Nageshwar Rao. These three officials need to be immediately shifted out of the election duties and officers from outside of Khammam district must be posted in their place to have fair and free elections,” he demanded.
Uttam Kumar Reddy also demanded that the expenses incurred on the TRS Plenary and public meeting, held on April 27 in Khammam, should be added to the account of TRS Candidiate Thummala Nageshwara Rao. “We are not too sure, if the ECI was appropriately briefed about the extravaganza show done by TRS in the plenary session. The TRS Party deliberately took the ECI permission for plenary session and public meeting and gained unjustified electoral advantage. The TRS has painted the entire Khammam in pink (their party’s official color) with their banners, flags, hoardings and cut-outs violating the model code of conduct,” he said.
As many as three municipal divisions 1-Kaikondagudem with 91, 92, 93 booths; 49- Danvaigudem with 94, 95, 96 booths and 5-Ramannapet 88, 89, 90 booths] of Khammam Municipality, where the massive public meeting was held, are part of 113-Palair Assembly Segment. “Such a big event naturally drew huge publicity without falling in the purview of paid-news or electronic and print media advertisements and the ruling party openly violated the Model Code of Conduct,” he said.
Further, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has publicly announced and promoted the candidature of Thummala Nageshwara Rao. “The CM himself made an open appeal in the public meeting that Thummala Nageshwara Rao should be elected to ensure the district development,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
The TPCC chief also reiterated the demand for deployment of Central forces for the by-elections (NSS)