ANDHRA PRADESH

Officials still in dark over council poll process

MAKING A POINT: Ch. Subhash Chandra Bose, a candidate for the teachers' constituency, speaking at a meeting on MLC elections at Eluru on Saturday.  

Staff Reporter

Fumble while replying to queries of candidates

A meeting has been held for parties and candidatesCPI(M) says jumbling of votes in some divisions noticed

ELURU: The conduct of election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Councilappears to be a brainteaser for both the officials and non-officials engaged in the election process, even as a month is hardly left for the D-day.

The officials, representatives of political parties and contesting candidates had a tough time to be familiarised with the basics of the MLC election, which was quite different from the general elections, at a meeting convened by the district administration here on Saturday. It's a first time-affair for a majority of officials and non-officials involved in the election process of the council, which was disbanded by the TDP regime in 1985.

Officials fumbled while fielding questions from the participants on certain aspects of the MLC election such as distribution of preferential votes, elimination of candidates who polled the least number of votes, division of surplus votes etc.

District Revenue Officer M. Rama Rao explained to the participants on the subject through power-point presentation. A live demonstration on polling and counting of votes also hardly helped the participants get a better understanding on the exercise.

Collector Lav Agarwal felt the need for intensive training for the election personnel at all levels on the conduct of election.

`Bogus' votes

Meanwhile, Cherukuri Subhash Chandra Bose, president of the State committee of United Teachers Federation, and a candidate for the teachers' constituency of the twin Godavari districts, criticised the attitude of officials on his plea for elimination of 300 `bogus' voters from the lists. The teachers working in unrecognised schools were included in the voters list in contravention of Election Commission guidelines, he alleged. The Collector expressed his helplessness in keeping the record straight `at this stage' as there was no scope for the district-level officials to tinker with final lists of voters. G.V.L. Narasimha Rao of CPI (M) said that jumbling of votes from one division to the other in the graduates constituency in certain areas like Bhimavaram and Eluru were noticed and sought remedial measures from the officials.