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TDP chief protests against poll panel's 'undemocratic' actions

TDP chief protests against poll panels undemocratic actions

New Delhi: Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday met state Chief Electoral Officer Gopala Krishna Dwivedi in Amravati over alleged "undemocratic and arbitrary actions" of the Election Commission of India (ECI) with regard to the transfer of several state officials and the raids by Income Tax authorities on TDP leaders. Naidu also staged a sit-in protest at the Secretariat along with his party leaders.

Even as the state is set to go for simultaneous polls on Thursday, April 11, Prakasam district superintendent Koya Praveen was transferred by the EC to a non-election post, and replaced by Siddharth Kaushal, a 2012 batch IPS officer.

Following the transfer, the CM has written to EC accusing it of being autocratic and having a partisan attitude towards the handling of elections in the state. Naidu in his letter alleged that EC transferred Srikakulam district Collector even before election schedule announcement without assigning any reason only a day after he joined.

He said that the Collector was from a Scheduled Tribe and the first civil servant from his community while adding that his transfer will affect the Collectors' morale.

Naidu alleged that the transfers of police officers, including Additional DG of Police (Intelligence), AB Venkateshwara Rao and Chief Secretary, AC Punetha are proof that that EC is acting on behalf of YSRCP under the guidance of BJP.

Naidu stated that despite the state-constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) identifying around 500 names who anonymously sent Form-7 applications and resorted to cybercrime, EC failed to give IP addresses or act in a timely manner.

The TDP chief in his strongly worded statement accused EC and said, "It is strange and surprising that whenever the opposition YSR Congress made a complaint, the Election Commission of India not only promptly responded but also took action without verifying the facts and without giving opportunity to the officers against whom the complaint was made."

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