Lok Satta

Thursday, 06 May 2010 12:23

Letter to IV Subba Rao on MLC Elections

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6th May 2010

 

To

 

Dr. IV Subba Rao,IAS

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Andhra Pradesh

Election Commission of India (ECI)

New ‘H’ Block South Wing, AP Secretariat

Hyderabad

 

Sub: Run up to the AP Legislative Council elections – widespread corrupt electoral practices reported – reg.

 

Dear Sir,

 

We would like to bring to your attention several, recent and credible reports carried by the print and electronic media, of widespread instances of bribing of voters, exercising undue influence (esp. by bussing voters to ‘camps’ outside the State and holding them there) and other attempts at voter intimidation by traditional political parties, their candidates and leaders, in the run up to the upcoming elections to the AP Legislative Council.

 

Such brazen attempts by candidates and their parties, as reported, at vote-buying and intimidation would surely act an undue influence on the voters’ electoral choice. Therefore they constitute nothing but corrupt electoral practices, under the provisions of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act (1951).

 

Vote-buying through money and liquor has been a ubiquitous feature of elections in the country for some time. Illegitimate expenditure for such corrupt electoral practices is astronomical. However, in this case of elections to the AP Legislative Council (May 2010), new depths have been plumbed: it is widely reported that such illegitimate expenses have already exceeded Rs. 15 crores – just for one seat of the RR District local authorities’ constituency having only 653 voters.

 

If such brazen attempts to hijack the electoral process are allowed without hindrance, ‘free-and-fair elections’ would be reduced to a mockery and all canons of democracy and free exercise of franchise will stand violated.

 

We therefore urge the Election Commission to take cognizance of the reported gross violations of the RP Act and rules, in the manner of widespread and blatant vote-buying and voter intimidation and take all necessary action. We have faith in the Election Commission to act swiftly and decisively to curb such illegal, illegitimate and undemocratic practices.

 

Sincerely,

 

Katari Srinivasa Rao (General Secretary)

V.Balaji  (General Secretary)

P.Bhaskar Rao (Secretary)