Hyderabad: Stating that power hungry politicians were out to entice voters with liquor and money, 31 prominent intellectuals, in an open appeal, urged the constituents of Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies not to succumb to such offers and exercise their franchise after much thought to those who can serve them better selflessly.
They stated that elections are like heart for healthy functioning of democracy and the citizens have right to elect their representatives by ‘vote’ for taking appropriate decisions on their behalf. Pointing out that responsible governments are formed only when elections are conducted in a fair and free manner, they stated that people’s government was possible when the voters exercise their franchise freely without fear.
Pointing out malpractices during elections in the country of late like splitting votes in the name of caste and religion, intimidating and preventing voters from going to polling booths, scaring away voters from polling booths and snatching votes by distributing liquor and money, they alleged that power mongers always try to wrest victory in election by the hook or crook. After being elected, they behave like feudal lords and argue that they are not answerable to the people as they had won by spending huge money and resort to corrupt practices to make hay, they added.
They appealed to the voters in Kadapa and Pulivendula constituencies not to succumb to money and liquor and exercise their franchise in favour of service-minded candidates. The signatories to the open appeal are:
The former governor of Karnataka, Ms S Ramadevi; former chief justice of Allahabad High Court, Mr Justice Ambati Lakshmana Rao; former judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Mr Justice Reddappa Reddy; former Lokayukta, Mr Justice R Ramanujam; former member of Rajya Sabha and Gnanpeeth awardee, Dr C Narayana Reddy; senior journalist, Mr Potturi Venkateswara Rao; former advisor to Election Commission of India, Mr K J Rao; former DGP, Mr C Anjaneya Reddy; HMTV chief editor, Mr K Ramachandra Murthy; prominent cine actor, Mr S Brahmanandam; national science commission former vice-chairman, Dr P M Bhargava; former vice-chancellor of Dr Ambedkar Open University, Prof. R V R Chandrasekhar Rao; former vice-chancellor of Sri Venkateswara University, Prof. S Jayarami Reddy; former vice-chancellor of Nagarjuna University, Prof. C V Raghavulu; secretary of Forum for Good Governance, Mr M Padmanabha Reddy; prominent social activist, Ms Malladi Subbamma; prominent political analyst, Dr Parakala Prabhakar Rao; the Hyderabad Study Circle director, Mr R C Reddy; Head of department of Political Science of University of Hyderabad, Prof. K Chinnaya Suri; Senior Citizens Association State president, Dr Rao Chelikani; APSA director, Mr S Srinivasa Reddy; noted Human Rights activist, Mr Babu Gogineni; Chairman of Center for Media Studies, New Dehi, Dr N Bhaskar Rao; Praja Alochana Vedika convenor, Mr Uppala Gopala Rao; AP Balala Sangham president, Mr Achyutha Rao; United Forum for RTI Act convenor, Mr Putta Surendrababu; Mr Manatosh Mandal of Forum for Better Hyderabad; Manava Vikas Vedika convenor, Mr B Sambasiva Rao; noted environmentalist, Dr S Jeevananda Reddy; Praja Udyamala Jatiya Committee convenor, Mr B Ramakrishna Raju and Jana Chaitanya Vedika State president, Mr V Lakshmana Reddy. (NSS)