TDP alleges large-scale violence, irregularities in Gram Panchayat polls

Seeks fresh elections in Punganuru, Marcherla and Tamballapalle panchayats

February 13, 2021 04:11 pm | Updated 04:11 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Election staff busy at a counting hall during the Gram Panchayat elections at Ramavarappadu near Vijayawada. File

Election staff busy at a counting hall during the Gram Panchayat elections at Ramavarappadu near Vijayawada. File

Accusing large-scale violence and irregularities in the Gram Panchayat elections in the State, the TDP has urged the State Election Commissioner (SEC) to “rein in the anarchy unleashed by the ruling party leaders and activists” and ensure free and fair polls.

In a representation submitted to the poll Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar on Saturday, TDP leaders Varla Ramaiah and Bonda Umamaheswara Rao alleged that the ongoing elections were replete with incidence of violence, kidnappings, tearing of the nomination papers and ‘forced’ unanimous election of the YSR Congress Party-backed candidates. They said some of the candidates were being harassed by officials for issuing certificates needed to file nominations.

The TDP leaders said the police was biased in favour of the ruling party candidates. They alleged large-scale violence in Punganuru, Macherla and Tamballapalle segments, saying that ‘unanimous’ election of the ruling party-supported candidates were forced in 80 out of 83 panchyats in Punganuru, 76 out of the 77 panchayat seats in Macherla and 30 panchayats in Tambalapalle.

They demanded that the SEC repeal elections to Punganuru, Macherla and Tamballapalle panchayats and issue fresh poll notification and also insisted on a comprehensive probe in poll code violations by ruling party leaders, police personnel and poll officials and stringent action against those who had booked false cases against the candidates backed by the Opposition parties.

They appealed to the SEC to strictly implement the interim orders passed by the High Court and ensure that the elections were held in a fair and unbiased manner.

Citing violation of the rule that there should be one nomination centre for every three villages, they said only one centre was set up for the entire Punganuru mandal “to facilitate forced unanimous election” by the ruling party activists.

The TDP leaders accused the personal assistant of the Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy of behaving as an extra-Constitutional authority, and said that he was exerting pressure on the poll officials to declare ‘unanimous’ election of the YSRCP-backed candidates in the fray. The TDP leaders said the SEC should examine the call data of his mobile phone and initiate action against him.

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