Telangana

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown

Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar quenches his thirst while addressing a media conference in Hyderabad.

Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar quenches his thirst while addressing a media conference in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

Official heading the State Election Authority not comfortable about being in the limelight

CEO gets a taste of fame

Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar is faced with the huge responsibility of completing summary revision of electoral rolls ahead of conducting elections to Telangana Assembly.

Mr. Rajat Kumar appeared to have lost his cool the other day when he was briefing media about the work initiated after the visit of a team of the Election Commission to study the preparedness of the State for polls. He was apparently irritated at the manner in which the photo journalists were repeatedly clicking the cameras while he was drinking water.

“I am wondering why you need so many pictures of me drinking water. It is not because I am tensed up, but because I have to give a detailed explanation about the processes that have been initiated for ensuring smooth election,” the official said at one point of time.

Who has to ensure

a citizen’s right?

The strong weapon given by the Constitution to any Indian cutting across religious, regional, caste and financial barriers is a vote. The Government is duty-bound to ensure that every citizen gets his right and the onus lies on the former.

But often citizens are denied of their right and they run into lakhs. Names go missing from the list or if the name is found in the list it doesn’t figure in the polling booth. This embarrassment is faced not just by the fresh voters but also those who have been voting for several years.

This happens despite people registering their names online as well as during the door-to-door survey or during the special drives. The question people ask is why should they beg for their right. Why aren’t the officials made responsible and accountable?

CEO’s office struggles with staff shortage

The State government had recently sanctioned 16 posts in the office of Chief Electoral Officer for a limited period of one year to face workload in elections to Assembly and Parliament.

Considering the existing officials and the newly sanctioned posts, their strength does not even touch the half way mark of the staffing structure designed for this key office to conduct polls.

Windfall of donations!

The election atmosphere in Telangana has synchronised with festival season, much to the delight of organisers of Ganesh pandals. The aspirants for tickets to contest elections and their followers had no option to give huge donations for the pandals though they may be cursing within.

While the leaders have volunteered to buy the Ganesh idols for the pandals at some places, they have contributed sums in the range of ₹ 5,000 to ₹10,000 to all those who approached them for donations. The liberal donation of leaders was said to be one reason for the steep increase in the number of idols in towns and villages this year.

The plight of the leaders will not end with Ganesh festival as the Navaratri celebrations ahead of Vijayadasami will take place from October 9 to 18. They have to brace up for another round of donations for `Dandia’ and `Durga’ pandals.

(M. Rajeev, R. Ravikanth Reddy and N. Rahul)

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 6:38:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/uneasy-lies-the-head-that-wears-the-crown/article24962418.ece

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