Hyderabad: Reacting strongly to the criticism of political leaders against the machinery of Election Commission, the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Bhanwar Lal, has said that leveling of allegation against sincere and honest officials would not strengthen the democracy.
Addressing the media in his chamber in the Secretariat on Friday evening, Mr Bhanwar Lal, took serious exception to the allegations of politicians and tried to prove them wrong by giving an explanation. He said that the people cast their vote to the candidates they favor. Polling no votes to a particular candidate was not the fault of the CEO, District Returning Officer and Superintendent of Police. The duty of the EC was to create a free atmosphere where the voters could exercise their franchise, he added.
Taking objection to describing him as an agent of Mr Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy by a political leader, he reminded that highest number of notices i.e. 58 were served on Mr Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in connection with paid news. Out of 46 persons arrested by police during election campaigning, polling day and in connection with post-poll violence, 19 candidates belonged to YSR Congress party and 4,281 YSR Congress workers were bound over. The YSR Congress workers were highest under preventive arrests he said and questioned how he could be branded as Jagan’s agent.
Reacting to objections of the political parties over sending back of 40 DSPs from election duty, the CEO said that seven IG level officers, 51 DSPs, 611 CIs and SIs, 10,270 ASIs, HCs, PCs, HGs, 43 AR platoons, 15 APSP cops, 17 Central Paramilitary Forces, nine companies of police from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were deployed in the areas of polling. Only surplus DSPs were sent back, he added. The EC has also sent seven observers for the elections. All these measures have been taken to ensure free and fair and impartial polling, he added. He also backed the Kadapa district Collector saying that the officer had worked day and night to ensure free and fair elections.
Strongly objecting to the remarks made by an MLA against him on Thursday, Mr Bhanwar Lal said that “the MLA targeted me for removing 464 bogus votes in his own village.” He asked the political parties not to criticize the machinery of Election Commission, which was working impartially. He also sent a report to the Election Commission of India on the allegations and criticism made by political parties against him and Kadapa District Collector. (NSS)