YSR Congress accuses Election Commission of bias

Amaravati, May 15 Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress has accused the Election Commission of bias in the conduct of elections in the state and also in dealing with complaints about violence during and after polling.

YSRCP General Secretary Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy alleged that the police were not acting to stop ongoing violence and attacks by anti-social elements against YSRCP members.

Raising doubts over the impartiality and responsiveness of the Election Commission, he appealed for restoration of peace and security in the state.

He told media persons that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is targeting poor and vulnerable segments of society, and police acted with negligence in addressing complaints about the violence resorted to by it to disrupt polling and obstruct votes for the YSRCP.

The YSRCP leader referred to reports of riots in various places including Macharla, Tirupati, Tadipatri, and Palnadu and that his party lodged complaints with the Election Commission and the Director General of Police.

He also voiced concern over the transfer of 29 officers, predominantly police personnel, before polling, without adequate inquiry. He claimed that instances of violence coincided with complaints made by state BJP President D. Purandareshwari.

Ramakrishna Reddy also made allegations of improper conduct by the Election Commission’s Police Observer, Deepak Mishra. He demanded an independent investigation into Mishra's actions and their alleged impact on violent incidents.

Alleging that TDP President Chandrababu Naidu instigated unrest and spread false propaganda, he also voiced the apprehension that the opposition may resort to violence during the vote-counting process.

Meanwhile, ministers Ambati Rambabu, Merugu Nagarjuna, and Jogi Ramesh, along with YSRCP MLAs Perninani and Namburu Shankara Rao met Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena and Director General of Police Harish Kumar Gupta, demanding a thorough investigation and appropriate action concerning violence by the TDP on the polling day and the day after in many parts of the state.

In another development, the YSRCP wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner, raising concerns over the Special Police Observer's "biased" conduct during the elections.

In the letter, YSRCP General Secretary Lella Appi Reddy voiced grave concerns regarding the actions of Mishra, a retired IPS officer, citing several incidents "indicating a clear bias" towards the TDP and a disregard for neutrality and fairness in the electoral process.

It alleged that since the arrival of the Special Police Observer in the state, multiple complaints had been lodged by both the YSRCP and the TDP, but the district police chiefs have consistently favoured the TDP's complaints, while neglecting those submitted by the YSRCP, even responding sarcastically to YSRCP representatives.

"Implicit instructions and actions have led TDP activists to believe they have assurances from the police, resulting in compromised law enforcement during polling and post-polling, leading to law and order issues. These actions suggest that Deepak Mishra may be favouring the TDP at the behest of Vishnu Vardhan Rao, a retired IPS officer associated with the TDP," the YSRCP leader said, urging the Election Commission to promptly appoint a new Special Police Observer known for honesty and integrity, to ensure a level playing field for all parties involved.

Source: IANS
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