HYDERABAD: Many contestants in the Secunderabad Cantonment Board elections are flouting the rules without any regard for the instructions given by the election officials, virtually making the model code of conduct in these elections a farce.
As contestants, who have deep pockets and also got the backing of the political parties, are flouting the rules, many contestants with modest backgrounds are complaining about rules’ violation, besides demanding officials to take action against the violators.
“SCB elections are being fought individually and not on party basis. Therefore, any reference by contestants to a party to influence voters goes against the rules. Contestants should not use party names, symbols, colours and political leaders should not participate in campaigning,” said returning officer T Vittal.
But, election code is brazenly flouted by all political parties. Top leaders from main political parties and local MLA, MP and even ministers are participating in SCB election campaigning.
Ministers T Padma Rao and T Srinivasa Yadav, local MP Ch Malla Reddy (TDP), local MLA G Sayanna (TDP) and Congress leader S Satyanarayana are among the leaders who are campaigning for the contestants whom their respective parties in the elections are backing.
“How can ministers participate in the campaigning of SCB elections which are fought independently? The poll canvassing by ministers will certainly influence the voters. Ministers Srinivasa Yadav and Padma Rao are openly campaigning for some candidates which is against rules but no action is being taken against them,” complained Satti Reddy, a contestant from Ward 5.
As top leaders are involved in violating the code, many contestants are complaining that they are being denied a level playing field. “Thirty-nine notices have been issued to contestants for flouting rules. We have written to police to take action against erring leaders,” said RO.