TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu Saturday took his protest over malfunctioning of EVMs during polling in Andhra Pradesh to the Election Commission and alleged that the poll watchdog was working on the instructions of PM Modi and the Centre.
Accompanied by legislators and TDP leaders, Naidu met EC officials and expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which the poll process was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, which had simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections on Thursday.
“The Election Commission (EC) is an autonomous body. At the same time, it is working on instructions of PM Modi and the government of India…The Election Commission is not cooperating with us,” Naidu told reporters after emerging from the poll body’s office in New Delhi.
Naidu also demanded that the EC should revert to the system of conducting polls through ballot papers and stop the use of EVMs. On Friday, Naidu had alleged that 30-40 per cent EVMs in the state either malfunctioned or did not function during the polls.
“We demand the Election Commission of India for reverting to paper ballot system immediately to preserve the sanctity and protect the spirit of electoral process and democracy respectively,” he said.
Elections in Andhra Pradesh, which saw over 74 per cent voting, were marred by faulty EVMs and clashes between polling agents and activists of the TDP and YSRCP. One activist each from both parties were killed outside a polling booth at Tadipatri in Anantapur district.
Naidu accused YSRCP of intimidating voters to reduce the voting percentage as it would benefit them. However, YSRCP leaders accused TDP leaders of beating up its polling agents to prevent YSRCP supporters from voting for their party.
State Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi, however, had said there were complaints about technical glitches in EVMs in only about 50 places.