Sunday, Dec 28, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
In their representation, a follow-up to the separate memoranda they handed over to the Commission, the leaders of these parties referred to the way the special teams have come across gross deviation of procedures and doubts expressed by them over the unusually large enrolment. In several instances, Telugu Desam party leaders were booked for their "mischief.''
But Telugu Desam leaders, including the Chief Minister, were openly expressing objections to the verification and rejection process, they said. They went on to allege that ruling party leaders were pressuring the authorities to delete the names of eligible voters, sympathetic to Opposition parties on some ground or the other and include those who favoured the TDP. This "undemocratic tendency is only the tip of the iceberg" and needed to be checked.
They referred to the reports of the ratio of electorate and population, giving rise to the suspicion that there could be foul play. The mass transfers of Mandal Revenue Officers (MROs), police and other important officials had created doubts. The anger shown by the visiting special teams over some Revenue officials proved this point. The defective software used in photo identity card and preparation of lists also posed problems. The duplicity of enrolment was possible through modern technological tools but that kind of software was not used.
In view of these problems, they suggested verification of fresh voters through "gram sabhas" with prior notice, booth-wise display of the list of names of fresh applicants and deletions, requisition a larger impartial official machinery to eliminate bogus voters, provision of identity cards to all the leftover 1.42 crore voters and setting up of armed polling booths in localities dominated by the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes(STs), Backward Classes (BCs) and minorities.
The signatories included D. Srinivas, president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee, B. V. Raghavulu, secretary of the State CPI (M), S. Sudhakar Reddy, secretary of the State CPI, Asaduddin Owaisi, leader of the MIM group in the dissolved Assembly, and K. Chandrasekhar Rao, president of the TRS.
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