A day after accusing the Election Commission (EC) of making the election process a “big farce”, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday met the poll body officials in Delhi to complain about the malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during polling in the state on Thursday.
After meeting the EC officials, the TDP chief accused the government of using the Election Commission as its puppet and interfering through it.
“We have complained against EVMs earlier also. EC is an autonomous body but they are working at the instructions of Modi,” Naidu was quoted as saying by ANI.
He further said the transfers of officers in Andhra Pradesh was unjustified.
He also demanded that the Election Commission should revert to the system of ballot papers and stop the use of electronic voting machines in polls.
“We demand the Election Commission of India for reverting to paper ballot system immediately to preserve the sanctity and protect the spirit of electoral process and democracy respectively,” said Naidu emerging from the poll body’s office in New Delhi.
After the polling was marred by the malfunctioning of some EVMs, Naidu blasted the Election Commission (EC) for what he called “turning the elections into a big farce”.
Addressing a press conference a day after polling for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats was completed, the Chief Minister on Friday spit fire on the Election Commission over the manner in which the election process was conducted, alleging that 30-40 per cent Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs in the state either malfunctioned or did not function.
“This is a very big farce. Disaster for the nation. I can say it is a big confusion, big mess, big farce,” Naidu said in a restless tone.
He claimed that as per “official information” 4,583 EVMs got stuck in the state and noted that it was a “major crisis.”
He also found fault with the Deputy Election Commissioner’s clarification that there was no problem with the EVMs in Andhra Pradesh.
“I have never seen such an insensitive, unrealistic, irresponsible and useless Election Commission. Do you make a mockery of democracy? EC turned into BJP branch office,” the TDP chief said.
The TDP president also alleged that the general elections in Andhra Pradesh were scheduled in the first phase in one go only to “leave me no time.”