TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu has urged the Election Commission to direct Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal to withdraw what he termed as “irresponsible” the latter’s statement that his vote would be declared invalid for violation of the secrecy of voting.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, the TDP chief denied that he had viola-ted the secrecy of voting and said the CEO's statements were not based on fact.

“Further, he is not competent to take such an action,” he said.

“When a delegation of our party called on him to seek his clarification, he (Mr. Bhanwar Lal) has the audacity to tell that we may complain to the CEC (sic),” Mr. Naidu complained.

Mr. Naidu alleged that representations made by the TDP on earlier occasions seeking free and fair elections had been ignored. On the other hand, the CEO had initiated hasty action on “baseless” complaints against the TDP. The CEO’s attitude had led the TDP to believe that he was not acting fair.