SEC meeting on civic polls disrupted

Congress stages a walkout; parties miffed at release of schedule without fixing quota

A meeting convened by State Election Commissioner V. Nagi Reddy with political parties to receive suggestions for the January 22 municipal polls ended on a stormy note with the representatives of parties raising objection to release of election schedule without fixing reservations for wards, divisions and posts of chairpersons and mayors in various municipalities and corporations.

At one stage, Mr. Nagi Reddy expressed anger at Congress leaders M. Shashidhar Reddy and G. Niranjan when they targeted the commission for allegedly toeing the line of the ruling TRS and the government in release of schedule. They said the process was undertaken at the commission’s own will without considering their request.

When Mr. Nagi Reddy shot back at the Congress leaders for their remarks, they walked out of the meeting hall. The meeting took a serious turn as the president of Dalit Bahujan Party Krishna Swarup was forcibly made to leave the hall by police for creating scenes demanding reissue of schedule after fixing reservations. In tears outside, he alleged that he was attacked in the melee. He swore to lodge a complaint against perpetrators under SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Earlier, all parties, with the exception of the TRS and MIM, demanded that the election schedule be put on hold but Mr. Nagi Reddy refused to oblige. Heated exchanges took place between the parties and Mr. Reddy when they took exception to the release of the schedule without the publication of electoral rolls and reservations. They were also angry that the last date for withdrawal of nominations was slated for January 14, which coincided with Sankranti. They shouted that the elections were a sham and that the government was ill-prepared to conduct them.

If the government stuck to its plan to finalise reservations a day before issue of election notification on January 7, the parties would be in no position to select the right candidates. The elections should be postponed by a week, they argued.

Mr. Nagi Reddy went ahead with the proceedings in the midst of chaos and announced that it was impossible to reschedule the elections now. He said the given schedule would be followed irrespective of whether the parties cooperated or not.

He tried to convince leaders that the elections were already delayed by seven months owing to court cases. He expressed the feeling that he was targeted at personal level.

The conduct of the Opposition parties was decried by the TRS. It said the parties resorted to it apprehending loss in elections.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:41:26 AM |

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