There were several disturbances in the polling on April 11. Several EVMs did not work and the process was delayed for other reasons at several polling booths. Besides the EVMs malfunction, there was violence in some parts of the State and the allegations against the Election Commission, which is now spreading strong across the State.
The Election Commission is understood to have taken up all these issues. The EC is collecting information on the role of Returning Officers (ROs), the Presiding Officers (POs) and the Booth Level Officers (BLOs), who failed the process. It is alleged that Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had planned the poll process some six months ago and posted the officers in the respective places. These officers have become the POs and ROs by virtue of being in the posts once the notification was issued.
These officers, it is alleged, were made to work in favour of the ruling TDP with standing instructions to delay the poll process and bring down the poll percentage. However, the poll percentage did not come down as expected and people stayed in the queue lines till the late hours. In some cases, polling continued till the early hours of the next day.
The EC is going deeper into this conspiracy as alleged by the YSR Congress and gathering information to substantiate the charges. The EC is also serious about the threatening language that Chandrababu Naidu had used against the State Chief Electoral Officer Gopala Krishna Dwivedi, a day before the polling. Chandrababu Naidu had gone to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer and submitted a representation on the poll irregularities. The officials have translated the exact language that Chandrababu Naidu used during his interaction with the CEO and is likely to seek clarification from the TDP chief.
The TDP chief had also raised strong objection to the transfer of the three SPs, Intelligence DG and the chief secretary ahead of the elections. It is alleged that these officers have gone against the rules of the EC. The chief secretary was transferred following the two GOs that he had issued against the transfer of the senior IPS officers.
Basing on these complaints, the EC is likely to slap a notice on the TDP chief in a day or two. It is to be seen what the EC would ask Chandrababu Naidu and how the latter would respond.