HYDERABAD: Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) working president K T Rama Rao on Sunday came down on AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for raising dust that EVMs, used in polling on April 11 in his state, had been tampered.
In an informal interaction with mediapersons here, Rama Rao said it was surprising that Naidu, who always accorded priority to technology, was now against it. “In the 2014 elections too, EVMs were used. But he did not raise any objection. Does it mean they worked well then but were tampered now?” he asked.
Rama Rao said it was not proper for him to claim from rooftops that EVMs malfunctioned or been tampered with, and added that TDP workers are worried over whether they would lose the polls, watching Naidu’s histrionics. “I am sure the people of AP are bringing Naidu down. It will become clear on May 23,” he said and wondered if Naidu would sing the same chorus in the unlikely event of him winning the election.
“What difference does it make if a message is sent as an SMS or in the form of a conventional letter? Similarly, what difference does it make if elections were held with EVMs or ballot papers?” he asked.
The TRS leader took exception to Naidu describing KCR and Jagan Mohan Reddy as PM Narendar Modi’s lapdogs. “It was Naidu who was with Modi for four long years. We too can call him Modi’s lapdog. We do not stoop to his level as we have a sense of dignity and decorum,” he said.
Referring to doubts over how the polling percentage changed in Telangana, Rama Rao said there was nothing unusual about it. “In the last 10 years, in Telangana, polling percentage always changed the day after polling, when final figures are announced.
The TRS working president said that all political parties should introspect on why the voter turnout was poor. If Andhra voters had not left Hyderabad for their hometowns, the polling percentage would have been much better in urban constituencies, he reasoned.
The TRS leader, training his guns on the BJP, wondered how the Income Tax department could give it a clean chit after the seizure of `8 crore from its activists on the eve of the elections on April 11. It was quite unusual for the Election Commission too to remain silent on this, though BJP activists had drawn the money from a bank in violation of the rules in force, he pointed out.
Referring to the widespread consternation among revenue employees over allegations of corruption against them, Rama Rao said one could not generalise that the entire department had been stuck in a morass of corruption. In fact, most of the employees were honest and non-venal, he said.
Taking a swipe at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, he said he was one leader who had no credibility. “It does not matter from how many places he contests as long as he does not have credibility,” Rama Rao said. “In Telangana, the Congress candidates might not even get back their security deposits. A leader would win from any place if he has the people’s acceptance. Look at KCR. He was never defeated anywhere. But Chandrababu Naidu did not contest from any place other than Kuppam, and YS has not contested outside Pulivendula,” he pointed out.