Over the past few weeks, Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly and YSR Congress Party President, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has been highlighting the systematic abuse of official machinery by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. YS Jagan and other YSRCP leaders have pointed out how the TDP government is indulging in malpractices in electoral rolls of the state, how certain handpicked police officials were given plum postings and how CIs from a single community were promoted out of turn (as many as 34/37).

The YSR Congress Party President met the Chief Election Commissioner and EC members on Monday and explained at length as to how the Chandrababu Naidu government was making a mockery of democracy in Andhra Pradesh. YS Jagan and other party leaders briefed the Central Election Commission officials on the massive scale of manipulation of electoral rolls in Andhra Pradesh. The Chandrababu government has methodically added more than 59,00,000 bogus votes in the electoral rolls of the state, they pointed out.

The TDP government was conducting fake surveys in the name of real-time governance and Praja Sadhikara Survey and several other teams. These survey teams were given tabs through which they could they could delete the names of voters who were considered sympathisers of YSR Congress party. These tabs also linked the names of the voters to their Aadhaar/voter card. All these facts were brought to the notice of the EC officials in Delhi, as also Governor ESL Narasimhan, by the Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh assembly.

The YSRCP chief also told the Election Commission and the Governor as to how the Chandrababu Naidu government had reduced police officials in Andhra Pradesh to puppets of the TDP regime. Chandrababu promoted 37 CIs as DSPs and pointed out that of these 34 belonged to one community. Incidentally the TDP chief also belonged to the same caste. Clearly he is making such moves to manipulate elections using government machinery, as the Leader of Opposition in AP pointed out.

Chandrababu Naidu posted officials from his community in key positions and brought back some retired police officers planting them in important posts, YSRCP leaders said. The TDP government created a post called DIG (Law and Order-Coordination) and posted an officer, Gattamaneni Srinivas, who belonged to Chandrababu Naidu‘s community. Similarly, Additional Director-General of Intelligence in Andhra Pradesh, AB Venkateswara Rao, considered close to the Chief Minister, also belongs to the same caste. DGP Thakur was hand- in-glove with the TDP bigwigs and chief minister, YS Jagan emphasised. He urged EC officials and the Governor of Andhra Pradesh to remove all these officers from the key posts to ensure a free and fair election process in the state.

While the YSRCP led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has been waging a relentless battle for the restoration of proper democratic process in Andhra Pradesh, why are the other political parties silent? The Congress party seems to be led by its nose by the TDP when it comes to its election strategy in Andhra Pradesh. It has not made any mention of the abuse of official machinery or manipulation of electoral rolls and other malpractices in AP by the ruling party. What does its silence indicate? Does it approve of the undemocratic methods being employed by the TDP in the state?

Pawan Kalyan makes lofty claims about democracy, but is silent on the misuse of official machinery by Chandrababu Naidu and other TDP leaders. What does he have to say about 59 lakh plus bogus votes in Andhra Pradesh? Has Pawan Kalyan spoken about Chandrababu Naidu‘s rank nepotism and brazen promotion of casteism in the official system? Why this deafening silence? Why have these parties not taken up this burning issue with the Election Commission or the AP governor? The indifference of the Congress and Jana Sena points to complicity with the TDP in this case and is only likely to weaken the cause of democracy.

Clearly it is only the YSR Congress party and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy who are concerned about the democratic functioning of the system in Andhra Pradesh. It is YS Jagan alone who has been championing the cause of restoration of proper democratic processes and methods for free and fair elections in the state. The YSR Congress party president has vowed to take this battle to its logical conclusion to ensure that Chandrababu Naidu does not manipulate the system. In this, the people of Andhra Pradesh stand by YS Jagan and are his biggest strength.

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