Andhra Pradesh, which went on to vote for both Lok Sabha and state assembly on 11th April, is set to present unfavorable result for the sitting Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and his party the TDP. TDP is poised to lose huge political ground in the state politics to Jagan Reddy’s YSRCP.
Rattled by new political realities setting in, Chandrababu Naidu has gone into a state of meltdown, which doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. Claiming widespread malfunctioning of EVMs throughout Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu had sought the Election Commission to conduct repolling on around 150 polling booths. He also accused the Election Commission of being biased.
The Andhra Pradesh CM on Thursday had met the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and submitted a memorandum alleging that a large number of EVMs had malfunctioned during the polls on Thursday and inadequate and inefficient security management led to incidents of violence.
The Election Commission had also agreed to Andhra CM’s request to let an expert from his delegation return for a more technically inclined discussion on the electronic voting machines. However, the identity of the ‘expert’ was not pleasing to the Election Commission. Hari Prasad the ‘expert’ who was part of the N Chandrababu Naidu delegation, was in 2010, arrested for a unique case of EVM theft. While Hari Prasad was also a member of the delegation that had met the EC earlier, however only after the submission of names composing the ‘expert team’, alarm bells started ringing.
EC official in a quick background check had discovered that Hari Prasad had also in the past denigrated EVMs and also stole an EVM to prove his theory with the help of ‘foreign experts’. Election Commission voicing their reservations in a letter to the president of TDP’s legal cell has said, “However, when this technical person came it turned out that he was Hari Prasad who was involved in a criminal case regarding alleged theft of EVM machine in 2010 which an FIR was filed…Whatever maybe the eventual outcome of the investigation, it would be appreciated that such antecedents do not inspire confidence.”
“This is completely intriguing as to how a so-called technical expert with these antecedents was allowed to be part of the delegation led by N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and President, TDP,” the letter from Election Commission also added.
Chandrababu Naidu furthering his frustration, and defending this act, has alleged EC of diverting the issue of EVM malfunctioning by questioning Hari Prasad’s inclusion in the visit on Saturday, who has been attending sessions on EVM.
TDP in their desperate response to the EC has said, “The EC is not willing to discuss with him stating reason of criminal case, while on many occasions he attended sessions on EVMs.”
“Would like to state that instead of focusing on the issue, the Commission is trying to avoid the situation,” the party also added response to the EC’s letter.
The ‘expert delegation’ was set to meet with Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain and Prof Emeritus at IIT Delhi, T Shahani, who is on the technical expert committee attached to Election Commission.
With Chandrababu Naidu into a state of meltdown, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal who were seen mingling with Naidu before the polls also seem to be distancing themselves from the leader facing an imminent defeat in state polls and also a huge downgrade in Lok Sabha prospects.