VIJAYAWADA: Lambasting the ruling YSRC for ‘misusing’ power during the panchayat elections, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu questioned how can State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar say elections were held smoothly and successfully. He said the SEC was rendered useless and helpless and failed to prevent the ruling party from manipulating and rigging the poll outcome.
Addressing the media on Monday, the Leader of Opposition said like the previous three phases, the ruling YSRC manipulated the poll outcome in the fourth phase too. “However, TDP men and supporters stood strong and fought against those irregularities courageously,” he said and suggested that the results of panchayat polls is the beginning of the downfall of the YSRC.
Naidu claimed that TDP-supported candidates secured 41.7 per cent of the panchayats and if the elections were held properly, another 10 per cent more panchayats would have been won by the party. “Out of total 2,748 panchayats in the fourth phase, 1,105 were won by TDP-backed candidates and 31 by those supported by our allies. In total, we won 1,136,” Naidu claimed.
Turning his ire on the SEC for not acting on its complaints, the TDP chief said they wrote 31 letters to the SEC, lodged 160 complaints and took 197 incidents of violations with evidence to its notice. “But no action was taken. The SEC has been rendered useless and helpless,” he alleged.