ANDHRA PRADESH

Telugu Desam opposes poll postponement

Hyderabad Dec. 24. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has said that deficiencies in the draft voters list should not constitute a reason for postponement of the upcoming Assembly elections.

C. Ramachandraiah, party spokesman, told reporters here today that the TDP was second to none in demanding removal of bogus voters from the list. Although the inclusion of 50 lakh new voters was rather on the higher side, the Election Commission had not yet authenticated the list. Stoutly denying the allegation that the TDP was responsible for enrolling most of the bogus voters, he said there was no proof to substantiate it.

Responding to reports that some TDP leaders were unhappy at the attempts to woo "neutrals'' into the party fold, he clarified that the party would welcome new blood but would not undermine its own cadres who had served the organisation for two decades. At the same time, he reminded the partymen that the TDP would like to induct talented persons from different fields if they were ready to serve society. Mr. Ramachandraiah came down heavily on the CWC member, Ghulam Nabi Azad, for his "shifting stand'' on the issue of Telangana and his promise that the Congress would supply free power to farmers if elected to power. He said Mr. Azad, who had, earlier snubbed leaders of the Congress Forum for Telangana, was now speaking about the viability of smaller States.

He said the Congress lacked consistency, leave alone a national policy on important issues. If it was indeed in favour of smaller States, the ruling Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra should introduce a resolution in the Assembly recommending Statehood for Vidarbha.

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