Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh Election Commission is learnt to have turned its attention towards the false propaganda being made about the April 11 elections by some higher ups in the government. Officials are said to have come to the conclusion that though the April 11 election was conducted on a statewide basis more efficiently and smoothly compared to 2014, there is a conspiracy to discredit the Election Commission through false propaganda.
Officials maintain that this slander campaign is being done on the basis of expected results and are planning to send a detailed report to the Election Commission of India. The reality is that elections were conducted peacefully throughout the state barring a few stray incidents. The polling went up to nearly 80% which is a record high.
Compared to 78.41% polling in 2014, Andhra Pradesh recorded 79.64% polling in 2019. Moreover there were fewer violent incidents. In 2014, there were as many as 284 incidents of violence compared to 25 on April 11. Six people died in violent incidents which took place in 2014 elections, whereas two lives were lost on April 11 this year.
Judging by all other parameters, elections conducted on Thursday last went off peacefully throughout Andhra Pradesh, but higher-ups in the government continue to make wild allegations. These baseless charges are related to law and order, as also failure of EVMs, officials point out. While 3% EVMs developed glitches in 2014, 0.03% of the machines developed snags on April 11. Yet Chandrababu and his yellow media machine kept insisting that 30% of the EVMs had developed problems which is not true, officials say.
All these facts point to the smooth conduct of the April 11 election and due credit must be given to the Election Commission for this. On inquiry into certain facts, the Election Commission found out that certain officials inclined towards the ruling TDP deliberately did not make necessary arrangements as per the directions of the EC. The Commission gave total freedom to district collectors in the matter of smooth conduct of elections. They were also given funds as sought. The EC also directed that drinking water facilities and tents to provide shade be erected so that voters do not have to face scorching sun.
However, inquiries revealed that at certain polling stations these arrangements were not made in defiance of the directives of the EC. Moreover, it is learnt that the TDP’s yellow media was already present near such polling booths to highlight lapses in the ongoing electoral process on April 11.
Further, Chandrababu and the yellow media kept saying that polling continued well into the night on April 11 indicating failure on the part of the Election Commission. The TDP put out a list of polling stations where it said voting had continued till after 9 PM on Thursday. However, a scrutiny of the list throws up factual inaccuracies, officials point out.
The TDP had alleged that polling continued in 724 booths after 9 PM on April 11 and that there were 120 such centres in Anantapur district. However, facts speak otherwise, officials say. The reality is that polling took place only in 19 centres after 9 PM and in seven polling boots in Ananthapur.
The TDP made yet another allegation that between 12.00 midnight and 3 AM polling continued in 75 booths, but the reality is that voting took place only in 9 centres during this period. Another reason was that in Gannavaram constituency, TDP MLA Valabhaneni Vamsi and his followers resorted to disruption of the polling process resulting in a delay. Further, the TDP alleged that on Friday morning between 3 AM and 4 AM voting continued in 8 centres whereas the truth is that this took place only in 3 polling centres.