AMARAVATI: TDP National President and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday announced that for the first time in over 39 years, the TDP has taken a tough, drastic decision to boycott the ZPTC and MPTC elections due to lack of trust in the AP State Election Commission and its unilateral decisions taken in the past two days.
Naidu strongly objected to SEC Nilam Sawhney’s action of releasing the poll notification without consulting all political parties. The Supreme Court has laid clear guidelines for taking the opinion of the respective parties in the State before issuing such poll notifications but the new SEC has dared to conveniently violate the court’s orders.
Addressing a press conference here, the TDP chief said that their party had lost all faith in the Election Commission considering the fact that Nilam Sawhney did not even try to follow the court Direction that the model code should be reimposed four weeks before the notified date of polling. But now, the SEC issued a notification on April 1 giving just over a week for the polling scheduled for April 8 with the results to be announced on April 10. With a premeditated plan, the SEC has taken this decision only to favour the ruling YCP leaders.
He further asserted that the TDP has never known to step aside from the fight in any election but the existing situation in the State under the atrocious Jagan Reddy regime was pathetic and hopeless in view of its degraded politics. “Fighting ruthless elections is nothing new to the TDP. But what is new to us is the fight with the criminal elements and rowdies who have no faith in democracy. It is new to us to fight with the police who are conniving with and abetting the election offences being committed by the YCP. Yet we will continue our legal fight and we have filed a petition in the High Court against the SEC’s latest notification.”
The TDP chief expressed confidence that their party’s decision to boycott the Parishad polls would leave a positive impact on the voters in the Tirupati parliamentary byelection. The general public would think about why the TDP has taken the painful decision and how the Jagan Reddy regime was systematically destroying the State as a whole by having an iron grip on the police and now on the SEC. It was the opinion of the common man that the State was falling into a deeper crisis with each passing day because of the lawless misgovernance of the YCP.
Condemning the actions of the SEC categorically, Naidu recalled how within hours of her taking charge at 10 am yesterday, Sawhney had met the Governor and later called for an all-party meeting on April 2. But she did not wait till the all-party meeting would be over and released the poll notification one day in advance with no respect for the political fraternity or the guidelines of the Supreme Court. Sawhney’s predecessor N. Ramesh Kumar had written a letter to the Union Home Secretary saying that too many violations took place in the Parishad elections and the YCP leaders caused chaos during the nominations and polling process. The new SEC did not take those issues into consideration before announcing the poll notification.
Naidu said that the YCP used rowdyism and threats to get most elections declared as unanimous and also they used intimidation at all stages from the withdrawal of the nomination to the creation of obstacles in the nomination process. As a result, over 24 per cent unanimous results were there in the MPTC polls in 2020 polls as against just 2 per cent in 2014. In respect of the ZPTC polls, the YCP used force to get over 19 per cent seats announced unanimously as against just 0.09 per cent in 2014.
What more, the YCP leaders used some sections of the police and the volunteers to demoralise the contesting candidates and voters. The volunteers threatened that Ammavadi, pensions, Rythu Bharosa, Kapu Nestham and other Government benefits would not be given if anybody did not follow the YCP leaders.
The TDP chief asserted that their party was boycotting the election not out of fear but it was sheerly out of lack of faith in the existing systems under the chaotic Jagan Reddy regime. There were instances when Jayalalithaa resorted to such drastic steps not just in the local body elections but also in the byelections to the legislature. Even Jyothi Basu boycotted the elections under different circumstances.
However, the TDP filed a petition against the SEC notification now and the same would come up for hearing tomorrow. Naidu compared the situation of Andhra to that of North Korea where dictatorship has paralysed and destroyed that country with no hope for the future. Whereas, its sister country South Korea followed the path of vibrant democracy and it was going on having a robust growth and well being of all sections of the people.